HA rolls out rehousing arrangements for So Uk Estate tenants

The following is issued on behalf of the Housing Authority:

     The Housing Authority (HA) has approved a set of rehousing, reprovisioning and associated arrangements for domestic and commercial tenants affected by the clearance of So Uk Estate in Sham Shui Po.  

     ˇ§There will be sufficient new public rental housing (PRH) estates coming on stream in Sham Shui Po district to meet the rehousing demand of So Uk tenants,ˇ¨ a spokesman for the HA said today (May 25).

     However, the spokesman stressed that for clearance of estates outside the Comprehensive Redevelopment Programme, of which So Uk was an example, it was not the HA's policy to rehouse tenants within the same district of the cleared site due to the practical reason that there may not be sufficient flats available in the district.

     ˇ§Instead, affected tenants may choose to move to PRH flats in any district subject to availability of suitable vacant flats,ˇ¨ he added.

     The Authority announced the clearance of So Uk Estate on March 30, 2006. The estate will be cleared in two phases with ten blocks in the uphill terrains north of the internal estate road to be cleared in Phase I in November 2008, and the remaining six blocks in the lower platforms in Phase 2 in August 2011.

     ˇ§About 3 500 new flats in Un Chau Estate Phase 2 and 4, scheduled for completion in February 2008, will be made available for the 2 600 affected households or 6,900 persons under the Phase 1 clearance.

     ˇ§The remaining flats in Un Chau Estate together with the 1 600 new flats in Cheung Sha Wan Flatted Factory redevelopment site scheduled for completion in March 2011 will be available for the 2 400 households or 6,500 persons under the Phase 2 clearance,ˇ¨ the spokesman said.

     ˇ§Apart from the choice of moving to a PRH flat, tenants who wish to purchase a Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flat will be accorded priority in the upcoming resumption of sale of surplus HOS flats commencing in early 2007,ˇ¨ he added.

     All domestic tenants will be granted an ex-gratia Domestic Removal Allowance (DRA) upon removal to meet part of their costs of removal. Those who move out of their flats before November 2008 including those under the Phase 2 clearance will be granted an ex-gratia DRA ranging from $2 670 to $8 080, depending on different household sizes. DRA for the remaining tenants covered by Phase 2 will be reviewed in early 2009.    

     ˇ§One-person and two-person households may also opt to receive a Singleton/Doubleton Allowance of $37 330 and $48 310 respectively in lieu of rehousing to a PRH flat,ˇ¨ the spokesman said.

     For the 17 three-year fixed term commercial tenancies currently in operation, they will be granted an ex-gratia allowance equivalent to 15 times the monthly exclusive rent. Existing rents of all these tenancies have been frozen upon the announcement of the clearance and will be subject to six-monthly rent review to take account of decreases in population reducing trade potential.

     ˇ§Tenants who wish to re-establish business in other HA retail premises may participate in either open tender or restricted tender exercises. A three-month rent free period will be given to displaced tenants leasing HA market retail premises through restricted tender. Those who choose not to take part in restricted tender will be granted a lump sum of $72,700 in lieu, subject to bi-annual review,ˇ¨ the spokesman said.

     ˇ§Every assistance will be provided for the six welfare facilities to seek suitable accommodation in other estates if provisioning is necessary,ˇ¨ he added.

     In line with established policy, an on-site Rehousing Team and a Community Service Team of social workers to help address tenantsˇ¦ concerns and adjustment problems will be set up.      

     Completed between 1960 and 1963, So Uk Estate comprises 16 Linear or Trident type blocks with 5,316 flats. Thinning out the population in recent years by allowing transfers to the newly completed Fu Cheong and Hoi Lai Estate and recovering vacant flats have brought the population down to 5,000 households or 13,400 persons.

Ends/Thursday, May 25, 2006
Issued at HKT 14:29