Thirteen temporary housing areas are to be demolished and residents rehoused in new blocks of flats - but only as an interim measure, it was announced yesterday. About 20,000 people will be moved from the dilapidated areas in a $2.2 billion plan for new-style temporary accommodation. Each flat will have its own bathroom and kitchen. Housing activists, outraged by the plan, say 150,000 people who have waited years in a queue need the money to be allocated for permanent housing, and that the plan for new temporary housing constitutes a waste. The Housing Authority is to build 29-storey blocks in the New Territories for those people forced into the 13 urban temporary housing areas by clearances designed to take into account future development needs and the potential impact of natural disasters. Rosanna Wong Yick-ming, who chairs the authority, said demolition of the 13 existing areas would be completed by March 2000. The authority's development committee endorsed the proposal yesterday. Ms Wong said the authority had acquired 49 hectares of land in Tuen Mun and Tin Shui Wai from the Government for the interim housing projects, estimated to cost $2.2 billion. Flats were to have been built on the Tuen Mun site under the Home Ownership Scheme. The other site was made available by agreement to delay a 4,000-unit project for two years until an alternative site could be found. Twelve thousand units are projected to house 30,000 people on the two sites. 'We want to tell the public that we decided to tear down the existing temporary housing areas, and that this could improve the living environment of people not yet qualified to go to public housing,' Ms Wong said. 'This is the most cost-effective way to meet the growing demand for temporary accommodation.' A Housing Authority member and chairman of the Legislative Council's housing panel, Democrat Lee Wing-tat, said the move sent a clear message that the housing problem would not be solved by early next century. 'They are building 'permanent' temporary housing with the resources which should go to the public rental flats,' Mr Lee said. A spokesman for the Hong Kong People's Council on Public Housing Policy, Yip Chiu-ping, said the authority was trying to trick residents into moving by offering de luxe temporary shelter. She argued the accommodation was too far away from urban areas and residents would not be able to afford higher transport costs. 'They are dumping the most deprived to a remote place with a beautiful excuse that they are improving their life,' she said.