Temporary housing areas were born in 1971 when the Government had to accommodate more than 4,000 fishermen and their families living on boats in the Yau Ma Tei typhoon shelter. A spate of children drowning and the spread of disease led to the building of the first area in Kowloon Bay. 'They simply drew symbols on the ground to state the right of residency for these families. There was no water or electricity supply and residents had to build their own houses on a piece of abandoned land,' said Ho Hei-wah, director of the Society for Community Organisations, which was launched after resettlement began. Two-storey homes were put up to meet soaring demand in the early 1980s after a series of fires destroyed tens of thousands of huts in east Kowloon. Since then the temporary settlements have deteriorated, sparking criticism. Governor Chris Patten cheered the temporary housing residents in his 1992 maiden policy speech by announcing a plan for rehousing before the handover. But the Housing Authority poured cold water on it in late 1995, saying nine temporary housing areas had to be kept for the influx of new immigrants and for those from clearance projects. Angry residents hurled a caged rat at the Governor when he toured Kai Lok housing area in November 1995 and 100 police officers were deployed to calm the crowds.