Hong Kong housing

Hong Kong URA announces 128 per cent cash grant raise for tenants affected by projects

Under new system, aimed to ‘improve living environments’, allowance increased from HK$70,000 to HK$160,000 for households with one

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 June, 2017, 7:56pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 June, 2017, 10:30pm

The Urban Renewal Authority has decided to raise the cash allowance for tenants affected by its redevelopment projects by up to 128 per cent after 15 years of no increments, officials announced on Tuesday.

Under the new system, tenants evicted before the authority’s acquisition of affected properties can choose between applying for public housing if eligible, opting for the authority’s rehousing scheme, or getting the cash grant.

The authority has four rehousing buildings in Mong Kok, Sham Shui Po, Tai Kok Tsui and Sai Wan. Previously, residents could only choose public housing – which has tighter income and asset limits – or cash payments.

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“We wish to improve the living environment of tenants, especially those living in subdivided flats who are evicted by landlords in buildings affected by our projects,” Ian Wong Wai-kuen, the authority’s head of acquisition and clearance, said.

Tenants who remain in the buildings after acquisition can get the cash grant but will not have the options of public housing or rehousing.

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For one-person households, the minimum allowance is increased by 128 per cent from HK$70,000 to HK$160,000. For households with two persons or more, the increment is 125 per cent – from HK$80,000 to HK$180,000.

Shop tenants or owner-occupiers in the affected buildings before the freezing survey – a final survey by the authority on the number and types of owners and occupants in affected properties – will receive a cash allowance ranging from HK$110,000 to HK$700,000, depending on how many years they have been continuously operating on site, compared with HK$70,000 to HK$500,000 previously.

Wong declined to comment on how much the new system will cost the authority.