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HA approves rehousing and associated arrangements for clearance of older blocks at Mei Tung Estate and Pak Tin Estate
The following is issued on behalf of the Hong Kong Housing Authority:

     The Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA) announced today (August 30) the clearance of two older blocks at Mei Tung Estate in Wong Tai Sin and four blocks at Pak Tin Estate in Sham Shui Po for redevelopment in accordance with the principles laid down in the Long Term Housing Strategy (LTHS) and the established policy of the HA. The HA's Subsidised Housing Committee (SHC) and Commercial Properties Committee (CPC), at a joint meeting today, also approved the rehousing of and associated arrangements for domestic and commercial tenants affected by the two clearance exercises.
     The Refined Policy on Redevelopment of Aged Public Rental Housing Estates, which the HA formulated in 2011, requires that consideration of redevelopment of individual estates should make reference to four basic principles - the structural conditions of buildings, cost effectiveness of repair works, availability of suitable rehousing resources in the vicinity, and build-back potential upon redevelopment. In addition to reaffirming these principles, the LTHS in 2014 states that while redevelopment of aged public rental housing (PRH) estates may increase PRH supply over the long term, it will in the short term reduce PRH stock available for allocation to those on the waiting list. Hence, given the current high demand for PRH, it is not advisable to carry out any massive redevelopment programme which will result in freezing a large number of PRH units that may otherwise be allocated to needy households.
     While the clearance of the two older blocks at Mei Tung Estate, i.e. Mei Tung House and Mei Po House, announced today is a new redevelopment project, the redevelopment of Blocks 9, 10, 11 and 13 at Pak Tin Estate is the last two phases of the redevelopment of the older part of the estate announced in 2012.
     The respective target clearance dates are: November 2020 for Mei Tung House and Mei Po House at Mei Tung Estate; April 2020 for Blocks 9, 10, and 11 at Pak Tin Estate; and January 2021 for Block 13 at Pak Tin Estate. With the announcement of the clearances today, the notification periods provided to affected tenants are 39 months, 32 months and 41 months respectively.
     "The 630 or so affected households living in Mei Tung House and Mei Po House at Mei Tung Estate can all be accommodated in Tung Tau Phase 8, which comprises 1 033 PRH units in the close proximity, and is expected to be ready for intake in mid-2020," a spokesman for the HA said. Flats in On Tai Estate in Anderson Road, expected to be ready for intake in mid-2018, can be made available to affected tenants who choose to move out early.
     The 1 460 or so affected households at Blocks 9, 10, 11 of Pak Tin Estate can all be accommodated by Pak Tin Phase 7 and Phase 8, which comprise 2 030 PRH units and are expected to be ready for intake in late 2019. Pak Tin Phase 11, which comprises 1,088 PRH units and is expected to be ready for intake in mid-2020, will be the reception estate for the 820 or so affected households of Block 13 of Pak Tin Estate. Flats in So Uk Phase 2, expected to be ready for intake in mid-2018, can also be chosen by the affected tenants at Pak Tin Estate who choose to move out early.

     "Affected tenants can also choose to move to refurbished PRH units in any district of their choice, subject to availability," the spokesman added.
     All domestic tenants affected by the clearances will be offered Domestic Removal Allowance ranging from $5,126 to $19,649, depending on the household sizes, to help meet part of their moving expenses.
     "One-person and two-person households may also opt to receive a Singleton/Doubleton Allowance (SA/DA) in lieu of rehousing to a PRH flat," the spokesman added. The meeting today endorsed the increase of the SA/DA rates to $70,700 and $86,150 respectively.
     "Affected domestic tenants who wish to purchase Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats in lieu of PRH will be accorded priority in flat selection in the upcoming HOS sale exercise(s) launched before the target clearance dates. Detailed arrangements will be submitted to the SHC for consideration in due course," the spokesman said.
     Upon redevelopment, about 2 100 PRH units and a new primary school will be provided on the cleared sites of these two redevelopment phases at Pak Tin Estate. Subject to statutory planning approval, a maximum of about 1 900 PRH units are expected to be provided on the site of Mei Tung Estate after clearance.
     At present, there are respectively 26 and 10 commercial tenants at Mei Tung Estate and Pak Tin Estate affected by the clearance exercises. At today's joint meeting, members also approved that eligible commercial tenants under fixed term tenancies paying market rent will be offered ex-gratia allowance equivalent to 15 times of the monthly exclusive rent as specified in the tenancy agreement applicable on the date of formal announcement of clearance. They will also be given the opportunity to participate in restricted tender exercises for shop stalls in the HA’s markets. Successful bidders will be given a three-month rent-free period for the new tenancy. If the eligible tenants give up the restricted tender opportunity, they will be granted a Lump Sum Payment of $133,000 in lieu. 
     Welfare tenancies with six non-governmental organisations at Pak Tin Estate will be affected by the clearance exercise. The Housing Department has liaised with government departments concerned to relocate them to other premises for continued provision of services.
     Following previous clearance projects, a Community Service Team will be set up and stationed on-site at both estates to help maintain effective communications between the HA and affected tenants, in particular the elderly.
Ends/Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:24
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