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Process

Tackling Health Risk during Operation

The URA has developed different tools by applying advanced technologies to facilitate the urban renewal process under the pandemic. On the commencement of redevelopment projects, the URA would conduct freezing surveys with affected residents. To safeguard the health of both the interviewers and the affected residents in the project area, the URA launched the ‘Health Code’ mobile application in October 2020 to send alerts on potential COVID-19 exposure. Interviewers can also show their negative results of Deep Throat Saliva Test to residents. Incorporating the list of buildings with confirmed COVID-19 cases announced by the Government and facilitated by the Global Positioning System (GPS), the application generates alerts to remind staff not to enter the affected buildings. Notifications would be sent when staff are within 200 metres of a building with confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19 to remind them to keep a safe distance. The URA’s ‘Health Code’ application has been well received since its launch.

An upgraded version of ‘Health Code 2.0’ was launched in November 2020, offering more assurance on privacy protection and a more user-friendly interface which displays data of affected buildings on a map with search function. The upgraded version also enables residents to track the health reporting status of URA staff through a three-colour display of green, yellow and red.

 

Health Code

Assisting Households in Ageing Districts to Relocate with Contentment

Redevelopment is more than just replacing buildings with new stock, but also about improving the living standards of displaced households. A majority of the buildings in our redevelopment projects are dilapidated and with safety hazards and hygiene problems. During 2020/21, acquisition offers were made to the owners of 460 property interests in the Kai Tak Road/Sa Po Road Project (KC-015). The cash compensation and exgratia payments allow affected domestic owner-occupiers to purchase replacement premises that are in better condition than their existing ones.

This year, a review on the acquisition and clearance policy was conducted to meet the changing circumstances and needs of stakeholders in our redevelopment projects. Board approval was obtained in July 2020. It is anticipated that the revised policy could provide better assistance to the owners, tenants and occupiers affected by URA’s redevelopment projects.

The URA also puts emphasis on enabling residents to retain their social network in the neighbourhood. A flat-for-flat (FFF) option is also available for those domestic owner-occupiers who prefer buying a flat at the same site after redevelopment (in-situ FFF units) or a flat at a new development in the same district. Alternatively, they may also choose to buy a flat at the completed Kai Tak Development. As of June 2021, a total of 36 owners had taken up URA’s offers comprising 31 FFF units in the Kai Tak Development and five in-situ FFFs.

Moreover, the URA takes responsibility to look after the need of affected domestic tenants by offering cash compensation or rehousing in public rental flats or units in the URA’s rehousing blocks. Our staff often go extra miles to help the affected tenants, whenever practicable, and address their individual needs. During the clearance process for the Kwun Tong Town Centre Project, the URA assisted an elderly tenant in her 90s who lived alone in a sub-divided flat to be rehoused in an elderly home for receiving better geriatric care. Follow-up support services were also provided to help her adapt to the new living environment.

 

 

 

Engaging the Community and Promoting Understanding

The URA commits to taking forward the ‘People-first’ approach in its urban renewal work across different stakeholders – the affected households and community members.

The Project Engagement Programme has been implemented since 2016 to strengthen our outreach support and establish relationships with affected owners and tenants of the properties in URA’s redevelopment projects. In 2020/21, the programme was conducted for Shing Tak Street/Ma Tau Chung Road Project (CBS-1:KC), Kau Pui Lung Road/Chi Kiang Street Project (CBS-2:KC) and Shantung Street/ Thistle Street Project (YTM-012). Since the start of engagement in mid September 2020, 93% of the owners in CBS-1:KC were engaged in the first round and 83% of the owners were reached through an opinion survey in January 2021. Engagement for CBS-2:KC commenced in October 2020. For YTM-012, 34% of the residents and owners have been engaged since the start of the programme in March 2021.

On promoting public understanding on URA’s work, a series of physical briefings were organised for members of District Councils and community leaders in 18 districts to share key findings of URA’s Study on New Strategy for Building Rehabilitation as well as the importance of preventive maintenance. In light of the pandemic, briefings on subsidy schemes covering lift modernisation, building inspection and repair works and fire safety improvement works were conducted online for District Councils and the general public to enhance understanding of scheme implementation details and application.

 

Project Engagement

Briefings

 

 

Equipping Owners with Knowledge and Empowering Them to Organise Rehabilitation Works

Proper building rehabilitation and regular maintenance are the key to extend the serviceability and structural stability of buildings and hence help slow down the pace of urban decay. Over the years, the URA has put substantial effort in the implementation and promotion of proper maintenance of buildings.

To enhance the understanding of financial assistance schemes and facilitate applications, briefings on various building rehabilitation schemes were conducted online during the pandemic. The URA has promoted the online briefings to 32 Owners Corporations in Kowloon City and Yau Tsim Mong districts through the network of the District Council members. Meanwhile, the URA also seeks to empower building owners to organise maintenance works by equipping them with knowledge ranging from procurement of contractors and consultants, specifications of work scope, to responsibilities and liabilities of the parties involved. Such practical information on building rehabilitation, together with professional advices and technical assistance, are all available on the all-in-one website – Building Rehabilitation Platform