Housing Authority to freeze charges for parking spaces
Updated at 5.24pm:
The Housing Authority would freeze the monthly and hourly charges for its some 103,000 parking spaces in the wake of low occupancy rates, a spokesman said on Monday.
The authority's Commercial Properties Committee (CPC) held a meeting on Monday to review charges in HA car parks.
After the meeting, a HA spokesman said CPC members had considered it was not justifiable to increase charges now because occupancy rates had not improved.
'Although the general economy has continued to improve, we do not consider it is the right time to impose higher charges on our car park users having regard to the current occupancy rate as well as the special characteristics of HA car parks,' the spokesman explained.
He said the current occupancy rate of HA car parks was around 70 per cent.
The spokesman said the next review on charges would be held after the Link Real Estate Investment Trust (Reit) was listed.
'The charges will be maintained from July 1. The next review will be conducted after the divestment of HA's retail and car park facilities or when there are special circumstances which warrant such reviews - whichever happens earlier,' he said.
The committee also approved a set of promotional activities to be launched from June at the HA's shopping centres and car parks in a bid to lure customers.
'The activities will supplement the regular publicity programme to help offset the potential drop in retail business caused by the possible decrease of car park users following the discontinuation of the free-parking scheme,' the spokesman said.
After the free-parking scheme terminated in April, shop tenants have arranged to issue parking coupons at their expense to customers to attract more spending.
The spokesman said the HA would offer a 20 per cent discount to shop tenants who bought 100 parking coupons at once from the HA.
'Under a new parking coupon discount scheme endorsed today, a 20 per cent discount will be offered to shop tenants for bulk purchase of 100 parking coupons,' the spokesman said.
The scheme will take effect from Wednesday to the end of this year.
A territory-wide lucky draw programme would also be organised, he said.
Hourly parking users presenting a ticket of at least 30 minutes' parking time, and shoppers spending not less than $100 would be given a raffle ticket to join the lucky draw, the spokesman explained.