32 more old estates to be targeted in authority's inspection programme

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 June, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 June, 2008, 12:00am

The Housing Authority has plans to expand the comprehensive structural investigation programme to cover 32 more old estates after the current exercise is completed this year.

Oi Man in Ho Man Tin, completed in 1974; Shek Kip Mei, completed in 1976; and Nam Shan in Sham Shui Po, completed in 1977 are among the 32 estates on the list to be inspected.

A number of these estates are taking up prime locations in urban areas.

The programme was launched three years ago, initially covering 10 public-housing estates 40 years or older.

Inspections at nine, including Wah Fu Estate, have been completed; inspection of the last of the 10, Ping Shek Estate, is scheduled to be finished by September.

The authority has recommended that two of the 10 estates be demolished: Tung Tau Estate Block 22, completed in 1965, and So Uk Estate, completed in 1960.

There were criticisms that the authority had tried to use the exercise as an excuse to delay redeveloping old estates, forcing tenants to continue living in poor conditions.

The authority has said the objective of the programme is to ascertain the structural safety of the public housing blocks and whether it would be more cost-effective to keep the estates through repairs and structural-strengthening works.

It claims the programme has been successful and well received by residents.

The authority's plan to extend the programme will involve inspections of three to four estates a year, with all 32 public housing estates expected to be covered by 2018.