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SLW visits elderly who benefited from Home Environment Improvement Scheme (with photos)

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, visited two elderly singletons today (September 30) to see how the Home Environment Improvement Scheme for the Elderly had improved their living environment.

     The homes of these two elderly singletons in Pok Fu Lam and Aberdeen were in poor condition through lack of proper maintenance and were equipped with poor fittings which posed safety risks.  

     With the assistance of the Aberdeen Kai-fong Welfare Association Social Service Centre, the two elderly singletons applied for subsidies under the scheme. They were subsequently provided with small-scale home maintenance services and essential fittings. These included installing a lighting system, replacing electricity sockets, laying down a new floor, and acquiring new items like a washing machine, a bathroom heater and a rice cooker.  Their living conditions have greatly improved after the improvement works.

     Inspecting the new features and comparing them with those in photographs taken before the renovation, Mr Cheung said he found it most encouraging that the improvement works, although minor, had given a facelift to the surroundings.

     "I am glad that the scheme proves so helpful to the applicants. I am sure that it will go a long way in enhancing the quality of life of our elders in need," he said.

     In the 2008-09 Budget, the Government committed one-off funding of $200 million to launch the scheme to assist elders who live in dilapidated homes with poor fittings and who lack financial means to improve their home conditions over the next five years.  Eligible elderly households can receive improvement works and/or fittings valued at up to a maximum of $5,000 per household.  

     The scheme, launched in June this year, is in line with the Government's policy of promoting "ageing in the community". It is estimated that about 40,000 elderly households will benefit from the scheme.  Needy elders may submit their applications through the 41 District Elderly Community Centres throughout the territory.

Ends/Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Issued at HKT 15:06


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