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LCQ18: Resident Liaison Ambassador Scheme
     Following is a question by Hon James To and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah, in the Legislative Council today (July 5):

     The Resident Liaison Ambassador Scheme (Ambassador Scheme), launched by the Government in November 2011, aims at recruiting owners or tenants as Resident Liaison Ambassadors (RLAs) in buildings which are aged 30 years or above and have no management bodies formed to assist the relevant government departments in contacting residents of such buildings for discussing and handling daily building management matters.  However, some residents of old buildings have pointed out that the Government has given inadequate support to the Ambassador Scheme, causing the Scheme falling short of the expected results.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) in each of the past five years, of (i) the number of buildings across the territory for which neither owners' corporations or residents' organisations had been formed nor property management companies had been hired (commonly known as "three-nil" buildings) (with a breakdown by District Council (DC) district), and (ii) the number of target buildings included in the Ambassador Scheme and the number of them in respect of which RLAs were successfully recruited (with a breakdown by DC district);
(2) of the number of meetings held between the authorities and the residents with the assistance of RLAs in the past five years (with a breakdown by DC district);
(3) of the number of RLAs newly recruited each year since the launch of the Ambassador Scheme, and the current number of RLAs (with a breakdown by DC district);
(4) of the channels through which the Ambassador Scheme is currently publicised, and the means to recruit RLAs;
(5) whether an RLA who has moved out of the building in which he or she resided can continue to serve as RLA of the building; if not, of the measures put in place by the authorities to fill the vacancy expeditiously; and
(6) whether the authorities will (i) review the effectiveness of the Ambassador Scheme and (ii) allocate more resources to promote and enhance the Scheme; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     To enhance the support for owners and tenants of old buildings, the Home Affairs Department (HAD) launched the Resident Liaison Ambassador Scheme (Ambassador Scheme) in November 2011 to recruit owners or tenants who live in buildings of 30 years or above and without any form of management (i.e. "three-nil" buildings) as Resident Liaison Ambassadors (RLAs).  RLAs will assist government departments in contacting residents and engaging them in discussion and handling of daily building management matters.  At the same time, the HAD also launched the Building Management Professional Advisory Service Scheme (BMPASS) to commission property management companies (PMCs) to provide owners of old buildings with free professional support, including assisting owners of "three-nil" buildings to form owners' corporations (OCs).  PMCs will, among others, recruit RLAs during household visits at target buildings and liaise with other owners to enhance the residents' knowledge and interest in building management and, through such resident network, assist these buildings in the formation of OCs to facilitate effective building management.  The OCs will, upon formation, take up the liaison role of the RLAs.

     My reply to the question raised by the Hon To is as follows:

(1) In the past five years (2012-2016), (i) the number of "three-nil" buildings in Hong Kong based on information obtained by various District Offices (DOs) through day-to-day liaison, and (ii) the number of target buildings included in the BMPASS for recruitment of RLAs and the number of target buildings which have successfully recruited RLAs are tabulated below, with breakdown by the 18 District Council (DC) districts at Annex 1.
Year No. of "three-nil" buildings No. of target buildings
included in BMPASS
for recruitment of RLAs
No. of buildings
with RLAs recruited
2012 6 488 1 200
BMPASS Phase 1
2013 5 943 581
2014 5 910 1 200
BMPASS Phase 2
2015 5 838 1 160
2016 5 680 1 256

(2) In the past five years, a total of 433 meetings were held with residents via the assistance of RLAs, with breakdown by the 18 DC districts at Annex 2.

(3) Since the launch of the Ambassador Scheme, the numbers of RLAs newly recruited in each year are tabulated below:
Year No. of RLAs newly recruited in each year
under BMPASS
2012 792
2013 180
2014 641
2015 507
2016 123

     Apart from recruiting RLAs at target buildings under the BMPASS, DOs will from time to time appeal to residents of "three-nil" buildings to participate in the Ambassador Scheme through day-to-day liaison.  As the Ambassador Scheme has been implemented for more than five years, some RLAs have moved out of the target buildings or withdrawn from the Scheme for personal reasons.  The total number of serving RLAs is 2 569, with breakdown by the 18 DC districts at Annex 3.

(4) HAD launched the Ambassador Scheme in November 2011, and implemented Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the BMPASS in November 2011 and April 2014 respectively.  RLAs are mainly recruited by PMCs commissioned under the BMPASS.  Upon commencement of each phase of BMPASS, the PMCs will conduct household visits at target buildings and hold talks to encourage residents to participate as RLAs.  If no RLAs can be recruited at the start, the PMCs will usually continue to conduct recruitment later.  Moreover, DOs will actively invite residents of "three-nil" buildings to participate in the Ambassador Scheme through day-to-day liaison, and publicise RLA recruitment at building management seminars and workshops held from time to time.

(5) Owners or tenants aged 18 or above who live in target buildings may participate as RLAs.  As RLAs mainly liaise with other owners or tenants, upon moving out of target buildings or withdrawal from the Scheme for personal reasons, they can no longer serve as RLAs.  In such circumstances, the PMCs will encourage other owners or tenants living in the same building to become RLAs.

(6) The HAD is of the view that the Ambassador Scheme has yielded considerable results.  As at April 30 this year, 241 OCs have been formed through the Scheme in 15 DC districts (i.e. Central and Western District, Kowloon City, Wan Chai, Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po, Eastern District, Kwun Tong, Kwai Tsing, Southern District, Sha Tin, Wong Tai Sin, Tai Po, Tsuen Wan, North District and Yuen Long).  RLAs will also assist other government departments (such as the Fire Services Department and the Water Supplies Department) in disseminating messages on fire safety, conducting fire drills, following up on leakages of communal water pipes, etc.

     RLAs are dedicated to building management.  Not only do they serve as a bridge of communication between residents and government departments, they also actively promote the formation of OCs in their buildings.  Many of them have become management committee members upon the formation of OCs.  In 2013 and 2015, the HAD held recognition activities to commend a total of 188 RLAs for their dedicated work.

     In April this year, the HAD launched the three-year Phase 3 of the BMPASS to provide professional advisory service for the remaining 1 400 eligible target buildings, with a total cost exceeding $60 million.  The PMCs will continue to promote the Ambassador Scheme in these target buildings and actively recruit more RLAs to assist government departments in contacting other owners and residents.  Moreover, the HAD and DOs will invite RLAs to attend talks on building management and maintenance to enrich their knowledge in building management.
Ends/Wednesday, July 5, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:05
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