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Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong (second left), and Chairman of URA, Mr Chow Chung-kong (second right), sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the launch of the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners. The signing ceremony is witnessed by Managing Director of URA, Ir Wai Chi-sing (right), and Deputy Secretary for Development (Planning & Lands), Mr Maurice Loo (left).
Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong (second left), and Chairman of URA, Mr Chow Chung-kong (second right), sign a Memorandum of Understanding for the launch of the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners. The signing ceremony is witnessed by Managing Director of URA, Ir Wai Chi-sing (right), and Deputy Secretary for Development (Planning & Lands), Mr Maurice Loo (left).
(From left) Assistant Secretary (Buildings) of Development Bureau, Ms Serena Wong; Deputy Secretary for Development (Planning & Lands), Mr Maurice Loo; Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong; Chairman of URA, Mr Chow Chung-kong; Managing Director of URA, Ir Wai Chi-sing; Executive Director (Operations) of URA, Mr Ben Lui; and Director (Building Rehabilitation) of URA, Mr Daniel Ho, attend the MOU signing ceremony for the launch of the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners.
(From left) Assistant Secretary (Buildings) of Development Bureau, Ms Serena Wong; Deputy Secretary for Development (Planning & Lands), Mr Maurice Loo; Secretary for Development, Mr Michael Wong; Chairman of URA, Mr Chow Chung-kong; Managing Director of URA, Ir Wai Chi-sing; Executive Director (Operations) of URA, Mr Ben Lui; and Director (Building Rehabilitation) of URA, Mr Daniel Ho, attend the MOU signing ceremony for the launch of the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners.

URA enhances three subsidy schemes on building rehabilitation

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (30 June 2020) announces that the second round of Operation Building Bright 2.0 Scheme (OBB 2.0 Scheme) and Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme (FSW Scheme) will open for application on 2 July 2020.  Together with the launch of the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners (BMGSNO) on the same day, the URA is providing comprehensive assistance to more needy owners to properly maintain and repair their buildings.

In recent years, the URA has devoted additional manpower and resources to assist building owners in conducting building rehabilitation works. In December 2019, the Government further entrusted the URA to take over, from the Hong Kong Housing Society, the administration of the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Elderly Owners which is now rechristened as Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners with an expanded scope of beneficiaries to include owner-occupiers who are recipients of the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme and Disability Allowance.  Furthermore, the maximum amount of grant will be increased from $40,000 to $80,000 per flat owner, while the asset limit for elderly singleton and couple applicants will be relaxed from $710,000 and $1,078,000 to $1,065,000 and $1,617,000 respectively. 

The URA today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Development Bureau, stipulating the implementation framework of BMGSNO. Speaking after the signing of the MOU, Chairman of the URA Mr Chow Chung-kong, said, “With the enhanced BMGSNO, the URA will administer all Government building rehabilitation subsidy schemes in an integrated manner. The URA will provide financial assistance and technical support to qualified owners for their building rehabilitation works with the objective to prolong the life span of buildings and improve living conditions.”

After attending the signing ceremony, the Secretary for Development Mr Michael Wong, also said, “URA’s efforts in building rehabilitation have received wide acclaim over the years. The Government has injected $2 billion into the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners and hopes that the scheme could assist owner-occupiers in need to conduct required maintenance and repair works for their properties, so that they could live comfortably while upholding building safety in Hong Kong.”

Aiming to eliminate the safety risks of private residential and composite buildings, the Government launched the OBB2.0 Scheme and FSW Scheme in 2018 in partnership with the URA to assist needy owners to undertake the inspections and repair works under the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme (MBIS), and comply with the required fire safety enhancement measures under the Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance.  The first round of OBB2.0 Scheme and FSW Scheme received 579 and 2,520 eligible applications respectively.  After prioritisation of eligible cases based on risk assessment, the URA has assisted the respective applicants in organising repair works to cover the arrangement of independent consultants to provide professional support services on budget estimation of works, review of tender documents and tendering for registered inspectors, works consultants and contractors through the e-tendering platform.

In order to encourage owners to arrange their own inspections and rehabilitation works, application criteria for the second round of OBB2.0 Scheme will be relaxed to allow all eligible buildings aged 50 years or above to apply for the subsidy, irrespective of whether they have received any MBIS notices, and to include eligible buildings aged between 40 and 49 years which have received MBIS notice(s) but have yet to comply, to apply the scheme.    

For the second round of FSW Scheme, the application requirements and subsidy are the same as the previous round.  Application for the two schemes will close on 30 October 2020.  If the organisation of owners meeting to deliberate the application of the schemes was delayed due to the COVID-19 epidemic, eligible building owners could convene the meeting after the submission of their application by the deadline and furnish the meeting minutes to URA not later than 30 April 2021.  The URA will notify all applicants of the application results of the two schemes by the end of this year.

The URA has announced earlier that in view of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on convening owners’ meetings, the deadline for the submission of application for the second round of Lift Modernisation Subsidy Scheme, which was opened for application in January 2020, was extended from 30 June 2020 to 30 September 2020.  This allowed building owners sufficient time to deliberate and resolve on making the application.  The URA will notify successful applicants of the prioritisation results in early 2021.

Details of the second round of OBB2.0 Scheme and FSW Scheme, as well as the BMGSNO are given at the Annex.  To enable the public and building owners to better understand the details and application methods of the three schemes, the URA, the Buildings Department, the Fire Services Department and the Home Affairs Department will jointly organise a total of 12 briefing sessions in various districts and through the internet platform.  Invitation letters will be sent to owners of the target buildings to introduce the subsidy schemes and invite them to attend the above briefing sessions.  Besides, the URA will also partner with 11 local organisations to promote the schemes to the general public and building owners through reaching out to the target buildings and assisting them in their applications.  In addition, the URA will introduce the schemes at the briefings of the Central Platform on Building Management set up by the Home Affairs Department in different districts from July to October 2020.  

The application forms and guidance notes of the three schemes can be downloaded from the website of the Building Rehabilitation Platform (BRP) (https://www.brplatform.org.hk) from 2 July 2020 onwards. Application forms can also be obtained from the following offices:

  • URA Headquarters: 26/F COSCO Tower, 183 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong;
  • URA Building Rehabilitation Division 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’s Kowloon City Neighbourhood Centre: Units K & L, 1/F, Sunshine Plaza, 17 Sung On Street, Hunghom, Kowloon; and
  • Home Affairs Enquiry Centres in various districts

Duly completed forms can be sent to the URA by post or in person. Online application is also available via the BRP website.

For details about the three building rehabilitation subsidy schemes, members of the public can call the Hotline at 3188 1188 for enquiries.

 

Annex

Application details of Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners

 

Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners

Eligible buildings

  • Residential flat in private domestic building or composite building

Application Requirements

  • Owner who is aged 60 or above*; or Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipient; or Disability Allowance recipient**
  • Applicant and his/her spouse (if married) are residing in the applied property

    * Subject to means test which the current monthly income limit for singleton is $8,690 and the asset limit is $1,065,000; the monthly income limit for couple is $13,860 and the asset limit is $1,617,000

** Subject to means test which the current income and asset limits listed below

Number of family members

Monthly income limit

(Hong Kong dollars)

Asset limit

(Hong Kong dollars)

1

12,800

266,000

2

19,430

360,000

3

24,410

469,000

4

30,950

548,000

5

36,890

609,000

6

40,840

659,000

7

46,770

703,000

8

52,310

737,000

9

57,710

815,000

10 or above

62,980

878,000

 

Scope of the grant

  • Building safety related maintenance works in a residential flat and/or in building common areas
  • Repayment of applicant’s outstanding loan(s) with the Buildings Department, the Urban Renewal Authority or the Hong Kong Housing Society in relation to building maintenance

Ceiling for amount of grant

  • Maximum grant of $80,000 per flat owner (or all owners sharing the ownership of the flat) *

* Amount of grant will be calculated in proportion to the share of ownership of the flat owned by the applicant and his/ her spouse (if married). For existing beneficiaries, the eligible grant amount will be obtained by deducting the amount previously granted from Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Elderly Owners from the maximum grant.

 

 

Application details of the second round of Operation Building Bright 2.0 Scheme and Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme

 

Operation Building Bright 2.0 Scheme

Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme

Application Period

2 July to 30 October 2020

(In the event that the organisation of owners’ meeting to deliberate the application of the schemes was delayed due to the COVID-19 epidemic, eligible building owners could convene the meeting after the submission of their application by the deadline (i.e. 30 October 2020) and furnish the meeting minutes to the URA not later than 30 April 2021.)

Scope of coverage

  • Primarily for cost of prescribed inspection and repair works under Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme (MBIS) (including consultancy fee)
  • Cost of fire safety improvement works in the common areas of a building required under the Fire Safety Directions or the relevant Fire Safety Compliance Orders  (including consultancy fee)

Application Requirements

  • Private residential and composite (residential and commercial) buildings aged 50 years or above:
  • irrespective of whether they have received MBIS notice(s) or pre-notification letters issued by the Buildings Department for the common parts of the buildings;
  • the owners voluntarily comply with MBIS requirements while the Buildings Department had not issued compliance letter(s) confirming the completion of the prescribed inspection and prescribed repairs and that the works carried out met the MBIS requirements on or before 11 October 2017;
  • Private residential and composite (residential and commercial) buildings aged 40 to 49 years:
  • have received MBIS notice(s) or pre-notification letters   issued by the Buildings Department for the common parts of the building
  • the Buildings Department had not issued compliance letter(s) confirming the completion of the prescribed inspection and prescribed repairs and that the works carried out met the MBIS requirements on or before 11 October 2019
  • Average rateable values of domestic units for year 2017/18 in a participating building should not:
    • exceed $162,000 per annum for urban areas (including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Sha Tin, Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan);
    • exeeed $124,000 per annum for New Territories (excluding Sha Tin, Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan Districts)
  • Buildings have formed owners’ corporation/ owners’ committees in accordance with the Deed of Mutual Covenant/ engaged building manager/ reached consensus among owners to join the scheme
  • Target composite (residential and commercial) buildings under the Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance which are not in single ownership
  • Owners of buildings have been issued with Fire Safety Directions issued by the Fire Services Department and/or Buildings Department on the common areas of a building, and/or relevant Fire Safety Compliance Orders, and had not received letter(s) issued by the department(s) confirming the completion of all the fire safety improvement works required by the Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance by 11 October 2017
  • Average rateable values of domestic units for year 2017/18 in a participating building should not:
    • exceed $162,000 per annum for urban areas (including Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, Sha Tin, Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan);
    • exceed $124,000 per annum for New Territories (excluding Sha Tin, Kwai Tsing and Tsuen Wan Districts)
  • Buildings have formed owners’ corporation/ owners’ committees in accordance with the Deed of Mutual Covenant (DMC)/ engaged building manager/ reached consensus among owners to join the scheme

Target beneficiaries and subsidy level

Target beneficiaries:

  • Owner-occupiers of residential flat

Subsidy for works at common parts of a building:

  • Non-elderly owner-occupiers aged below 60 will be subsidised 80% of the cost subject to a cap of $40,000 per unit
  • Elderly owner-occupiers aged 60 or above will be subsidised 100% of the cost subject to a cap of $50,000 per unit

Subsidy for private projecting structures*:

  • 50% of the cost subject to a cap of $6,000 per unit

* An individual eligible owner can apply subsidy for undertaking prescribed inspection and repair works in respect of such private projecting structures only if his/her building is approved for participation in OBB2.0 Scheme.

Target beneficiaries:

  • Owners of buildings who are eligible to apply for Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme

Subsidy level:

  • Maximum 60% of the related costs of works and consultancy fee, or corresponding cap imposed on the respective category of target composite buildings based on the number of floors, whichever is less
  • Subsidy will be disbursed to owners’ corporations, owners’ committees, DMC managers or owners’ representatives (applicable to buildings that have not yet formed owners’ committees but obtained the consent of all owners to join the scheme) on a building-basis

(ENDS)