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Helping our Tenants and the Needy amidst COVID-19

In view of the economic impact brought by the ongoing pandemic, the URA continued to extend the special rent relief measures for its domestic and commercial tenants in 2021/22, covering the period until September 2022 to assist over 800 tenants with more targeted efforts and greater magnitude. The six rounds of measures in total since April 2020 has noted a cumulative amount of rent concession exceeding $200 million.

In addition to financial assistance, the URA allocated over 50 vacant units in its rehousing blocks and acquired properties for its domestic tenants and staff for emergency isolation use amidst the fifth wave of the pandemic. We also teamed up with the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals to deliver resource packs with sanitising and hygienic products to the tenants in need. In addition, the URA installed ‘U-Trap Refill Automators’ in over 700 flats to help prevent the spread of viruses due to dried-up drainage pipes. Contractors were also arranged to spray anti-virus coatings in common areas of over 200 buildings in old urban areas.



Promoting Local Economic Activities

Conscientious efforts were made to ensure local businesses continue to thrive in the process of urban renewal. The URA’s completed projects, the Prince Edward Road West Revitalisation Project and the 618 Shanghai Street Project, served to showcase how the overall environment of decades-old structures can be transformed to cultivate a place where old meets new while enhancing economic vibrancy for the local community. Tactical measures were adopted for the implementation of the Peel Street/Graham Street Project (H18) in order to preserve the characteristics of the nearby century-old market while injecting new vitality into the neighourhood. Following a series of promotional activities, Graham Market and the new market block at Site B of H18 have become an iconic spot for local residents to purchase a variety of fresh food and goods meeting their daily needs.

At the Yue Man Square of the Kwun Tong Town Centre Project (K7), the URA reserved shop areas (named as ‘Yue Man Lane’) for former operators in the Development Areas 4 and 5 of K7 to continue their businesses in the same locality, thereby retaining the customer network and neighbourhood ties. Meanwhile, a brand new Yue Man Hawker Bazaar was opened in April 2021, housing over a hundred licensed fixed-pitch hawkers formerly stationed at the temporary hawker bazaar in the project. The Yue Man Lane and Yue Man Hawker Bazaar together have become a new hub featuring the unique local characteristics and street culture of the Kwun Tong community. Multi-pronged promotional activities were conducted during the year with tailor-made market vibrancy programmes to enhance local awareness, strengthen operators’ competitiveness and stimulate footfall.

Stall Operator

Facilitating Social Enterprises to Thrive

Up to 2021/22, the URA provided about 6,000 square metres of premises at concessionary rent for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social enterprises to operate, including units leased to support the Community Housing Movement. At 618 Shanghai Street, a social enterprise named Dignity Kitchen has been operating with the mission of helping the disadvantaged and disabled to become self-reliant through employment and vocational training. A shop at the ground floor level of the newly retrofitted building at Yu Chau West Street Industrial Building Project (IB-2:SSP) was leased to Holy Café at concessionary rent. The café, run by a social enterprise, aims to provide training and job opportunities to people with intellectual disabilities. Another unit was let out to Music Children Foundation while three units were taken up by Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.


Holy Cafe

Besides, local communities, NGOs and creative talents can rent activity spaces on a daily basis to organise workshops, performances, exhibitions and promotions at the URA’s community spaces at H6 CONET in Central, M7 in Wan Chai and 618 Shanghai Street in Mong Kok at a community rate.

All of the above have demonstrated URA’s mandate to revitalise the old urban areas through adaptive reuses of the premises it has preserved.