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Integrated Building Maintenance Assistance Scheme with one-stop service launched

An Integrated Building Maintenance Assistance Scheme (IBMAS) to encourage domestic property owners and owners of composite buildings to rehabilitate their buildings will take effect from 1 April 2011.

Under the integrated scheme, the five financial assistance schemes currently operated by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) will be consolidated into one integrated assistance scheme as from tomorrow.

Director, Works and Contracts of the URA, Mr Stephen Lam Wai-nang, and General Manager (Property Management) of the HKHS, Mr Sanford Poon, unveiled details of the integrated scheme at a media briefing today (Thursday).

Under IBMAS, owners will be able to enjoy the same assistance irrespective of whether the property is located in a URA or HKHS Scheme Area and the assistance provided under the integrated scheme will not be less than that under the existing schemes.  One set of application forms will cover all schemes.  It is also applicable to the two schemes funded by the Government, namely, the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Elderly Owners and the Building Safety Loan Scheme.

With one-stop service, owners and Owner Corporations (OCs) will be able to obtain the following assistance:

  1. Cash subsidy for formation of OCs;

  2. Cash subsidy for rehabilitation work to common areas of buildings;

  3. Interest-free loan to individual owners for rehabilitation work to common areas; and

  4. Interest-free loans to individual owners for safety-and hygiene-related repair works to their units.

As early as in 2003, the URA and the HKHS have been providing various assistance schemes to owners in their respective scheme areas.  While there are reasons and purposes to offer the schemes in operation, it is considered necessary to consolidate and align all the schemes to better utilize resources and to provide one-stop, more user-friendly service to owners in need of financial assistance.

In a nutshell, merits of the IBMAS are as follows:

  1. Clearer definition of targets and beneficiaries : OCs/owners' organisations, individual owners and needy/under-privileged owners
  2. Distinct delineation of Scheme Areas between URA and HKHS
  3. Identical assistance offered to owners meeting same eligibility criteria
  4. Buildings with and without OCs eligible
  5. Alignment and relaxation of eligibility criteria
  6. Improved loan and repayment terms
  7. ONE set of application forms