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LCQ13: Tenants affected by URA's redevelopment projects
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     Following is a question by the Dr Hon Fernando Cheung and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (June 15):

Question:

     The new Urban Renewal Strategy promulgated in February 2011 stipulates that the aim of the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) in carrying out redevelopment is to "reduce the number of inadequately housed people", and the principles to which URA strictly adheres in carrying out redevelopment include the one that "tenants affected by redevelopment projects should be provided with proper rehousing".  Since the establishment of URA in 2001, the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) has been able to provide URA with an annual quota of up to 1 000 public housing/interim housing flats for the purpose of rehousing households affected by redevelopment projects.  URA is required to pay to HA monthly reservation fees and also the cost of the flats concerned when the rehousing of households actually takes place.  In addition, given that in the past, quite a number of tenants affected by redevelopment projects had been requested by their landlords to move out upon the expiry or termination of their tenancies before URA acquired the affected properties successfully (evicted tenants), URA launched the Domestic Tenants Compassionate Assistance Programme (DTCAP) in 2011 to enable affected tenants to receive an ex-gratia payment after the completion of URA's acquisition or government resumption of the affected properties.  Tenants who are ineligible for DTCAP but are in hardship may be granted the Relocation Assistance by URA at its discretion after they have been assessed by the Urban Renewal Social Service Team for the project concerned.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council if it knows:

(1) the following information of each redevelopment project commencing in each of the financial years from 2001-2002 to 2015-2016: (a) the total number of households at the time of the Freezing Survey, with a breakdown by category of households, i.e., (i) owner-occupiers, (ii) domestic tenants, (iii) occupiers of rooftop structures and (iv) occupiers of other categories, and (b) the number of households who were offered rehousing or compensation, with a breakdown by rehousing/compensation arrangement, i.e., (v) those rehoused to public housing flats provided by HA, (vi) those rehoused to public housing flats provided by the Hong Kong Housing Society, (vii) those rehoused to flats provided by URA, (viii) those being offered the basic ex-gratia payment and a cash incentive, (ix) those being offered an ex-gratia payment equivalent to the Government's Ex-Gratia Allowance because they were ineligible for basic ex-gratia payment and (x) those who moved in after the date of the Freezing Survey and were offered a compensation in the form of ex-gratia payment equal to two times the prevailing ex-gratia allowance offered by the Lands Department on resumption, and set out such information in Table 1 by project name; if the aforesaid information is not available, whether it can provide the relevant information on the redevelopment projects commencing in the financial years from 2011-2012 to 2015-2016.
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(2) the following figures relating to the PRH flats provided by HA in each of the financial years from 2001-2002 to 2015-2016 (set out in Table 2):

(i) the total number of public housing flats disposable by URA (i.e. the sum total of the flats which had been reserved in the past but not yet used for rehousing plus those which were newly reserved in that year),
(ii) the aggregate number of PRH flats reserved by HA;
(iii) the number of PRH flats actually used by URA;
(iv) the number of PRH flats returned to HA by URA;
(v) the amount of reservation fees paid by URA to HA; and
(vi) the amount of money paid by URA to HA when rehousing of households actually took place.

(3) the following figures relating to evicted tenants in respect of the redevelopment projects commencing in each of the financial years from 2010-2011 to 2015-2016 (set out in Table 3 by project name):

(i) the number of tenants who applied for DTCAP;
(ii) the number of tenants who were rehoused;
(iii) the number of tenants who received compensation in the form of ex-gratia payment; and
(iv) the number of tenants who were ineligible for DTCAP but were granted the Relocation Assistance?

Reply:

President,

     On the basis of the information provided by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA), my reply to the three-part question is as follows:

(1) The information on the URA's redevelopment projects of which acquisition and rehousing have been completed in the financial years from 2010-2011 to 2015-2016 is tabulated in Annex 1.  Regarding the other redevelopment projects, as acquisition and rehousing work are still underway, no definite information can be provided at the moment.

(2)  According to the Memorandum of Understanding entered into between the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) and URA in June 2002 and revised in June 2012, public rental housing (PRH) units will be reserved for rehousing eligible households affected by the redevelopment projects of URA, and the URA shall pay the HA reservation fees equivalent to the amount of monthly rents payable for the units reserved and the actual rehousing expenses.

     In drawing up its annual PRH Allocation Plan, the HA will estimate the numbers of different categories of flats for allocation in the coming year.  The numbers of PRH flats reserved for the URA redevelopment projects under the approved PRH Allocation Plans for the past five years, the numbers of PRH flats actually used by the URA for rehousing purposes, the amount of reservation fees paid by URA to HA and the amount of money paid by URA to HA for rehousing of households are tabulated in Annex 2.

     As the progress of the URA's redevelopment projects changes from time to time, the URA needs to make corresponding adjustments with the HA in the actual number of PRH units to be reserved.  Hence, the URA does not maintain any other related statistics.

(3) The information on evicted tenants in the redevelopment projects of the URA in the financial years from 2010-2011 to 2015-2016 are tabulated in Annex 3.

Ends/Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:56

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