More building owners qualify for subsidies

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 February, 2009, 12:00am


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More owners of old residential buildings will be eligible to apply for maintenance funds from a HK$1 billion project that is to be launched on top of existing subsidy schemes.

A two-year Operation Building Bright campaign will be implemented to assist in the rehabilitation of 1,000 buildings in poor condition. Elderly owner-occupiers of flats can get a full subsidy for maintenance costs capped at HK$40,000, while other successful applicants can get 80 per cent of the cost, with a ceiling of HK$16,000.

The government will earmark HK$700 million for the plan, and the Housing Society and the Urban Renewal Authority will each provide HK$150 million.

Under the two bodies' existing loan and subsidy schemes, only buildings with owners' corporations can apply for building-maintenance funds. The new plan will relax this requirement.

The initiative would bring about 10,000 new jobs in the coming two years, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah said.

He added that a similar grant scheme targeting elderly homeowners had benefited about 2,000 people since it was introduced in last year's budget.

Housing Society chairman Yeung Ka-sing said it planned to employ both professional and technical staff to carry out the campaign, which he said would enhance safety in Hong Kong.

The Development Bureau will announce the application criteria and other plan details today.