Tin Shui Wai flats deemed safe to sell

More than 800 HOS units will go on market next week after piling problem was fixed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 March, 2013, 4:05am

A batch of 825 subsidised flats in Tin Shui Wai that were pulled from sale at the height of a short-piling scandal 14 years ago will go on the market next week.

But would-be buyers will not be able to inspect the flats in advance unless they are selected by a lucky draw.

Announcing the sale yesterday, assistant director of housing Chiu Kin-chee said the piling problem in the two blocks in Tin Chung Court had been fixed.

"We have strengthened the foundation and now the two blocks are as structurally safe as the others in the court."

The Home Ownership Scheme project was completed in 1999, but sale of the two blocks was suspended after it was found that contractors had cut corners.

It was part of a scandal that affected several other Home Ownership Scheme projects, including two blocks at Sha Tin that had to be demolished.

The units remained empty after the sale of HOS flats, recently resumed, was suspended.

Ranging from 506 to 650 sq ft, the flats are offered for sale to families earning no more than HK$40,000 a month. Prices, set at a discount of 30 per cent below the market value, are from HK$1,194,500 to HK$2,105,900.

Chiu said there would be no show flat but those who won the right to buy in the lucky draw would be able to inspect their flats before signing a contract.

He said it would be "difficult to manage" the crowd if everyone was allowed a prior inspection.

Installations such as water taps and heaters that have deteriorated while the flats were empty have been replaced.

Sale brochures are available today and the authority will accept applications for purchase between March 28 and April 10.

Clerk of works Chung Chi-kong, who inspected two flats with a media group yesterday, said wall tiling in the kitchen and the bathroom of one of the flats were not well done and the tiles might fall off easily.

Former lawmaker Lee Wing-tat, who runs concern group Land Watch, said the authority should open up several flats, of different layouts, to interested parties.