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URA welcomes Government's new strategy for Urban Renewal

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Thursday) welcomed the release of the Government's new Urban Renewal Strategy (URS), which entrusts the Authority with an expanded role in tackling the problem of urban decay in Hong Kong.

"Under the new URS, the URA will be more pluralistic in its redevelopment approach, with the URA as a 'demand-led implementer' and a 'facilitator' in addition to undertaking self-initiated redevelopment projects," according to the URA Chairman, Mr Barry Cheung.

"The new URS also offers broader compensation choices for residents affected by redevelopment projects. For example, with a URA new development, a flat-for-flat option will be provided, whether in-situ or in the vicinity, or at Kai Tak. This would represent an alternative form of compensation to owner-occupiers of domestic units," Mr Cheung said.

Mr Cheung noted that with the enhanced parameters in building rehabilitation as stipulated in the new URS, the URA would strive to provide a comprehensive and one-stop service for owners in order to promote proper and effective maintenance of buildings.

"All in all, the URA will wherever possible further enhance its assistance for those affected, especially the elderly non owner-occupiers and tenants," said Mr Cheung.

He added, "We reaffirm our commitment to working with the community in tackling the many complex issues surrounding urban renewal. A balanced and sensible approach will continue to be our guiding principle, especially in light of the evolving social environment and rising expectations."

The URA will work out the implementation details for the new initiatives.  All future URA projects to commence after 24 February 2011 will be implemented in accordance with the new URS.