The following is issued on behalf of the Housing Authority:
The Commercial Properties Committee (CPC) of the Housing Authority today (26 April 2001) approved a set of arrangements for tenants affected by the clearance of Cheung Sha Wan Factory Estate.
About 870 tenants will be entitled to ex-gratia allowances, plus a three-month rent-free period in the Authority's other factory units, or a cash lump sum of $6,000 per unit in lieu.
A spokesman for the Authority said the Authority's Strategic Planning Committee last month endorsed plans to redevelop the Cheung Sha Wan factory site for residential housing, providing about 2,900 rental flats for 9,200 people in 2007/08.
Cheung Sha Wan Factory Estate comprises five low-storey blocks without lift service, built between 1960 and 1965. The majority of the tenants pay a monthly rental ranging from $26 to $63 per sq. metre.
"The factory is old with outdated facilities and occupying a site more beneficially redeveloped for public housing," the spokesman explained.
Under the arrangements approved by CPC, ex-gratia allowances for most tenants affected will range from about $78,000 for upper floor units to $166,000 for ground floor units. Total cost of ex-gratia allowances and lump sum will be around $178.5 million.
The tenants will be given 18 months' notice of clearance before the end of May and rent increases will be frozen with immediate effect.
Also at today's meeting, CPC Members noted the findings and recommendations of a consultancy study commissioned last year to reassess the business and development strategies for the Authority's commercial properties.
The CPC agreed that private sector should be encouraged to play a greater role in the provision of commercial facilities in public housing estates, and that the Authority should seek to reduce its direct participation in the provision of the facilities and progressively become a facilitator rather than a provider.
Arising from the recommendations of the consultant, the CPC was of the view that the Department should focus on streamlining the management of commercial operations while consolidating assets through redevelopment and re-ordering of commercial facilities.
"The issue of greater private sector participation will be studied in details by the Department before making any recommendation on the implementation to the CPC," the spokesman said.
Ends/Thursday, 26 April 2001