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Director (Acquisition and Clearance) of the URA, Mr Ian Wong, at the media briefing announcing the enhancements to the policies for affected tenants.
Director (Acquisition and Clearance) of the URA, Mr Ian Wong, at the media briefing announcing the enhancements to the policies for affected tenants.

URA Board approves enhancements to policies for ex-gratia payment and rehousing

The Board of the Urban Renewal Authority today (Tuesday) approved enhancements to the policies for ex-gratia payment and rehousing to domestic tenants, as well as ex-gratia payment to non-domestic tenants and non-domestic owner-occupiers, who are affected by its redevelopment projects.

These enhancements, which take effect from today, aim at helping the domestic tenants to improve their living conditions, especially those living in subdivided units and cubicles.  Considerations have also been given to the domestic and non-domestic tenants, who are evicted by their landlords prior to acquisition of the properties by the URA.

Speaking at a media briefing today, Director (Acquisition and Clearance) of the URA, Mr Ian Wong, said: "Many of the affected residents are living in sub-divided units and cubicles in our redevelopment projects. Our enhanced policies will offer domestic tenants with a greater amount of ex-gratia payment for them to improve their living condition."  

Eligible domestic tenants affected by URA's redevelopment projects are currently either provided with rehousing, if eligible, or Ex-gratia Allowance (EGA), which is based on 3.5 times of Rateable Value (RV). Under the revised policies, the EGA will be calculated with a sliding scale that begins with the first $10,000 of the RV multiplied by 9, down to the multiplier of 1 for the 9th $10,000 of the RV and above.

The EGA for eligible domestic tenants will be subject to a minimum amount which will also be increased to $160,000 for one-person household and $180,000 for two-person or larger household, from the current minimum payments of $70,000 and $80,000 respectively.  The minimum payment will be subject to annual review based on the Rental Indices for Private Domestic  (Class A) publicised by the Rating and Valuation Department.

For those eligible domestic tenants who are evicted by their landlords before acquisition of the properties by the URA, they are currently offered 3 times of RV under the Domestic Tenants Compassionate Assistance Programme (DTCAP), or public housing, if eligible.  Under the enhanced policies, they will be offered EGA based on the new sliding scale, or public housing, if eligible, or units at URA's rehousing blocks, subject to meeting URA's requirements.

"Under the enhanced policies, we have also taken into consideration of the non-domestic tenants, in particular those small businesses which have been operating for a long time in the redevelopment sites and those evicted by their landlords before acquisition of the properties by the URA," said Mr Wong.

The Ex-gratia Business Allowance (EGBA) for non-domestic tenants will be revised from the current minimum of $70,000 and maximum of $500,000 to a minimum of $110,000 and a maximum of $700,000, depending on the number of years of continuous operation by the tenant-operator as business owner in the property.  The new EGBA arrangement will also be applicable to non-domestic owner-operators occupying the properties for their own businesses.  Those non-domestic tenants who have occupied the properties before Freezing Survey and are evicted by their landlords before acquisition of the properties by the URA, will now be included in and benefitted from the enhanced ex-gratia payment scheme. The minimum payment of EGBA will be subject to annual review based on the Rental Indices for Private Retail publicised by the Rating and Valuation Department.

Key enhancements to the URA's policies for rehousing and ex-gratia payments to the domestic and non-domestic tenants affected by its redevelopment projects are summarised as follows:

Revised Policies Current Policies
(before revision)
a) Domestic tenants who have occupied the property before Freezing Survey (FS) and have no alternative accommodation

A sliding scale of Ex-gratia allowance (EGA) based on Rateable Value (RV)

- 1st $10,000 RV (x9)

- 2nd $10,000 RV (x8)

- 3rd $10,000 RV (x7)

- 4th $10,000 RV (x6)

- 5th $10,000 RV (x5)

- 6th $10,000 RV (x4)

- 7th $10,000 RV (x3)

- 8th $10,000 RV (x2)

- 9th $10,000 RV and above (x1)

3.5 times of RV
b) One-person (1-P) and two-person (2-P) domestic tenants who have occupied the property before FS and have no alternative accommodation
Minimum payment of EGA of $160,000 and $180,000 for 1-P and 2-P and above households respectively Minimum payment of EGA of $70,000 and $80,000 for 1-P and 2-P and above households respectively
c) Domestic tenants who have occupied the property before FS, have no alternative accommodation and are evicted by their landlords before URA's acquisition

(i) A sliding scale based on RV :

- 1st $10,000 RV (x9)

- 2nd $10,000 RV (x8)

- 3rd $10,000 RV (x7)

- 4th $10,000 RV (x6)

- 5th $10,000 RV (x5)

- 6th $10,000 RV (x4)

- 7th $10,000 RV (x3)

- 8th $10,000 RV (x2)

- 9th $10,000 RV and above (x1)

                       or

(ii) Public housing (if eligible)

                       or

(iii) Units at URA's rehousing blocks (ineligible for public housing; subject to meeting URA's requirements)

(i) 3 times of RV under DTCAP
or
(ii) public housing (if eligible)

d) Non-domestic tenants and non-domestic owner-occupiers who have occupied the property before FS
Ex-gratia Business Allowance (EGBA) from a minimum of $110,000 to a maximum of $700,000, depending on the number of years of continuous operation as business owner in the property EGBA of minimum of $70,000 to a maximum of $500,000, depending on the number of years of continuous operation as business owner in the property
e) Non-domestic tenants who have occupied the property before FS and are evicted by their landlords before URA's acquisition
EGBA from a minimum of $110,000 to a maximum of $700,000, depending on the number of years of continuous operation as business owner in the property Nil

 (ENDS)