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Photograph shows the URA Managing Director, Mr Quinn Law (centre), the Executive Director of Senior Citizen Home Safety Association, Mr Timothy Ma (right) and the URA Executive Director (Planning & Project Control), Ms Iris Tam (left) at the Service Agreement signing ceremony.

Applications open for demand-led redevelopment projects and facilitation services

Applications open for demand-led redevelopment projects and facilitation services

Applications will be open for demand-led redevelopment projects and facilitation services with the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) tomorrow (Tuesday) following its signing of a Service Agreement (SA) with the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association (SCHSA) on the provision of enquiry service to property owners who are interested in applying for the two pilot schemes.

Under the SA, SCHSA will provide property owners with the following services:

  • explain the URA's project selection criteria for demand-led redevelopment projects and facilitation services to those making relevant enquiries;
  • explain the prescribed application form and help the applicants to fill the forms properly;
  • provide home visits for answering queries, as required, to the elderly or  those who are not fit to travel;
  • arrange and host briefings to owners of buildings; and 
  • assist the URA to liaise with the applicants  (if required) to clarify, substantiate the submitted information or obtain the supplementary information in support of their applications;

Putting their signatures to the SA at the ceremony today were the Managing Director of the URA, Mr Quinn Law, and the Executive Director of the Senior Citizen Home Safety Association, Mr Timothy Ma. 

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Law remarked that the demand-led redevelopment mode and facilitation services are new initiatives and interested property owners might not fully understand the required property ownership threshold for their application and details of undivided shares in their own property. 

"Some even need assistance in filling out the application forms for the respective schemes,' he added.

"The SCHSA, which is presently operating a call centre and providing advisory service related to compulsory sale, is well equipped to provide the enquiry service for property owners interested in our demand-led redevelopment projects and facilitation services," said Mr Law.

The phone numbers of the SCHSA enquiry service: 2342 6656 / 2345 5184.

Over the past two months, the URA has been working on the implementation details for the pilot schemes of facilitation services and demand-led redevelopment projects since its announcements in April and May respectively. 

"Starting from tomorrow, pamphlets and application forms designed for the two schemes, in both English and Chinese, will be available at the following locations:

  • The URA Headquarters at Cosco Tower in Central;
  • The four neighbourhood centres of the URA in Central, Sham Shui Po, Mong Kok and Ma Tau Wai;
  • The Kwun Tong Resource Centre of the URA; 
  • The Public Enquiry Service Centers of seven District Offices (Central & Western, Wan Chai, Yau Tsim Mong, Kowloon City, Kwun Tong, Sham Shui Po and Tsuen Wan); and  
  • The URA website at  www.ura.org.hk

All duly completed and signed application forms should be returned by hand to Urban Renewal Authority at 26/F, Cosco Tower, 183 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong.

"To tie in with the preparation of the URA Annual Business Plan for 2012/13, applications for demand-led redevelopment projects will close at 5 pm on 31 October 2011," said Mr Law.

He added that appropriate demand-led redevelopment projects would then be included in the Annual Business Plan for submission to the Financial Secretary for consideration.

Mr Law then went on to elaborate the selection procedures upon receipt of applications for demand-led redevelopment projects.

"All applications will first be vetted against the selection criteria such as obtaining the consent of owners of 67 % or more of the undivided shares of the respective lots of the site, whether the proposed development is larger than 400 square metres in site area and whether the building conditions are poor or varied, etc.  Financial considerations are excluded in the individual project assessment deliberation.

"A selection panel comprising URA Board members and management will then give an initial assessment on the applications which meet the basic criteria and give recommendations to a board committee on the proposed ones to be included in the Annual Business Plan. Their inclusion in the Annual Business Plan will be subject to the approval by the Board of the URA and the Financial Secretary."

Once the demand-led redevelopment project is gazetted for implementation, the URA will conduct a freezing survey on the same date of the gazette notice to signify the application is successful, said Mr Law.

As for those unsuccessful applications, owners may consider re-submitting applications in the following year or they may apply for the facilitation services of the URA if it is deemed necessary.  Before an application is rejected or withdrawn, a concurrent application will not be considered.

There is no application deadline for facilitation services as they need not be included in the Annual Business Plan of the URA. It is however planned to commence facilitation services for one to two appropriate projects in this financial year.

Mr Law hoped that the two new initiatives of the URA could help property owners who want to improve their living environment through joint sale or redevelopment of their properties, which will expedite the pace of urban renewal in Hong Kong.

(ENDS)