First round applications for Building Drainage System Repair Subsidy Scheme opens on 1 May 2021
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) announces today (30 April 2021) that the first round of applications for the Building Drainage System Repair Subsidy Scheme (the Scheme) will open from tomorrow (1 May 2021). The Scheme will provide technical and financial assistance to owners of old and dilapidated buildings on common drains, so as to facilitate needy owners to organise repair and/or improvement works on drains for enhancement of living condition and environmental hygiene.
Upon the passage of the Appropriation Bill 2021, a total of $1 billion has been earmarked for launching the Scheme. Tasked to be responsible for administering the Scheme, the URA and the Development Bureau signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) today to lay down the implementation framework.
Chairman of the URA, Mr Chow Chung-kong said after the MOU signing, “Building rehabilitation is one of our core businesses. For this, the URA has been committing considerable resources and manpower to support the Government in the implementation of various subsidy schemes, amounting to over $19 billion covering building rehabilitation works and upgrading of building facilities. Apart from financial assistance from the Government, the URA also provides technical support to owners as they carry out relevant works.
With increasing public concerns on defective drains in the spread of the Coronavirus, the URA undertakes the implementation of the Building Drainage System Repair Subsidy Scheme in a bid to encourage and facilitate owners to repair defective drain pipes to improve building condition and environmental hygiene, thereby protecting community health at large.”
Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong, also said after the signing ceremony, “The living environment of Hong Kong is crowded and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 pandemic has heightened public’s awareness on environmental hygiene, including the drainage conditions of buildings. Having listened to the public’s views, the Government proposed in this year’s Budget a dedicated subsidy scheme at a commitment of $1 billion to assist owners to conduct repair or even upgrading works for the drainage systems of their buildings. We are glad that the funding proposal has the support of the Legislative Council; and with the full support of the URA, the Scheme could be implemented early. Let’s join hands to improve the environmental hygiene of the community.”
The Scheme covers the investigation, repair and/or improvement works undertaken for the common drains of the building drainage system, as well as the branch pipes of an individual unit which are near to the common drains but not inside the unit.
The subsidy to eligible buildings can amount up to 80% of the total cost involved, with maximum amount ranges from $120,000 to $1 million, depending on the number of residential units of the building concerned.
The first phase of the Scheme will focus on applications from buildings which have outstanding statutory orders from the Buildings Department on common drains. Applications will be opened to other eligible buildings at a later stage with further announcements in due course.
Apart from applications from eligible buildings, the Scheme will also cover those buildings with proactive intervention by the Buildings Department on a risk basis. For those concerned owners who do not have the ability to coordinate the works by themselves, the Buildings Department will exercise its statutory power to carry out the requisite works for compliance of outstanding statutory orders on common drains. Such owners will be automatically qualified for the Scheme without submitting an application.
To mitigate against the risk of bid riggings, owner applicants, except those works with registered contractors procured before 1 May 2021, must appoint qualified and registered contractors through the e-Tendering Platform of the URA’s “Smart Tender” service. The URA will provide practical guidelines, as well as standard tender and contract documents for the procurement of contractors. A cost reference database with information on actual costs of previous projects, including repair works on common drains, has also been established for owners’ reference during the course of procurement.
Application forms and application notes will be available from 1 May 2021. Interested parties can download the materials from the Building Rehabilitation Platform (www.brplatform.org.hk) or obtain from the following places:
- URA Headquarters: 26/F COSCO Tower, 183 Queen’s Road Central
- URA Building Rehabilitation Office: Unit 1001, 10/F, Tower 2, Cheung Sha Wan Plaza, 833 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon
- Urban Renewal Resource Centre: 1/F, No. 6 Fuk Tsun Street, Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon
- URA Kowloon City Neighbourhood Centre: Units K & L, 1/F, Sunshine Plaza, 17 Sung On Street, Hung Hom, Kowloon
- All District Offices and Home Affairs Enquiry Centres
Eligible owners can submit the completed application by mail, in person to the URA offices, or submit online to the Building Rehabilitation Platform.
For details about the Scheme, members of the public can call the Hotline at 3188 1188.