Rules too tough at top hostel, claim former cagemen

PUBLISHED : Monday, 15 March, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 15 March, 1999, 12:00am

Tenants staying in the best-funded hostel for former cagemen view the rules there as too harsh, according to a survey.

Twenty-four of 30 tenants at Sunrise House in Cheung Sha Wan interviewed in the survey by the Democratic Party complained about what they saw as unreasonable regulations.

The rules include a ban on visits by friends and relatives except in designated areas, unannounced checks and room searches by hostel staff, hot water supply only in specific hours and a ban on smoking.

Ten tenants in the survey alleged there were discriminatory attitudes among staff.

Since its opening last year, the hostel, owned by the Home Affairs Department and managed by the Salvation Army, has only averaged 100 tenants for its 300 rooms. Tenants pay more than $1,000 a month.

Democratic Party member and Shamshuipo District Board housing committee chairman Wong Chung-ki said the hostel should stop treating its tenants like they were troublemakers.

'These are normal people whose only problem is housing. Stop treating them like criminals,' he said.

The Home Affairs Department owns 39 hostels offering up to 5,000 rooms for cagemen made homeless by new regulations banning most existing cage homes. All have similarly strict regulations.

The department could not be reached for comment yesterday.