LAST week, the Legislative Council again debated the need for a comprehensive policy in resolving the long-standing problems in urban renewal. I cannot remember how many times my colleagues and I have debated this issue and how many times we have asked the administration to put forward a comprehensive policy which would resolve the problems that have arisen so as to create a living environment that will truly meet the needs of the community. Alas, the administration has yet to put forward such a policy and it is quite understandable that not only Legco members but other concerned parties are frustrated and disappointed. The fact that the subject under discussion has over the years attracted a whole range of views because of the different interests and expectations is not a reason for our executive-led government to shy away from the issue. Why then, does the administration appear to turn its back on the problem? The answer may comprise a few factors, not least because housing is a pretty emotional issue. A second reason could be because the administration does not know or, worse still, cannot be bothered to assess the cost to the community as a whole. One example is that on many occasions I have asked the administration to let Legco have the facts. How many tenants will be affected by urban renewal? What resources, land and otherwise, do we need to re-house tenants? Is rehousing in the same district feasible? If yes, what is the cost? If not, where else and, again, at what cost? What is a realistic time-frame to achieve urban renewal? What impact will it have on the provision of land, whether in our urban areas or otherwise, on our public as well as our private housing programmes? Do we have one queue or more than one? The community, I believe, is entitled to the answers to these very basic questions before it can indicate its support or otherwise for any urban renewal programme. Besides providing these answers, the administration must offer solutions to difficulties that have arisen in the existing urban redevelopment process. One of them has been the level of compensation to owners and tenants. The property industry continues to be berated for the allegedly low level of compensation when compared to that paid by the Land Development Corporation. Do we need to be reminded that the purpose and the function of the LDC and the property industry are wholly different? That having been said, most developers have no problem with a reasonable increase in the current level of statutory compensation because developers, by and large, pay compensation in excess of the statutory compensation level, but at the same time the industry needs a speedier process and greater flexibility. The second difficulty is re-housing tenants in the same districts. I believe that rehousing in the same district is unattainable, but if that is so, let the administration explain why it is not attainable. The sooner we know the sooner these expectations will subside. THE Real Estate Developers Association has put forward a sensible proposal for rehousing, and that is for the Housing Authority to obtain quicker release of public rental units by encouraging the better-off tenants to buy flats from the authority. Another solution is to encourage the redevelopment of our decaying industrial areas into residential projects which, coupled with a judicious use of bonus plot ratio, could well produce residential units for rehousing some of the families displaced by urban renewal programmes. We are about to be handed a golden opportunity to plan for a fair and a workable urban renewal programme when Kai Tak Airport is decommissioned. We must plan ahead with a bold vision. We can use that to make a concrete action plan not just for urban renewal but also for renewal of our decaying industrial districts such as San Po Kong and Kwun Tong. We can also redevelop some of our decaying public housing estates. What I have suggested requires an administration with determination and vision. I ask the administration not to disappoint Hong Kong.