Management fees at a new housing project for better-off elderly people were criticised for being too high yesterday. The Housing Society announced a pilot housing project with 500 units of between 220 and 360 square feet in Jordan Valley and Tseung Kwan O for middle-class people aged 60 or over. They will be available in 2002. The non-profit-making project offers medical care, cleaning services and other facilities, including a library, indoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Land was given to the society free of charge and two non-government groups, Sheng Kung Hui Diocesan Welfare Council and Haven of Hope Christian Service, are to run the building's services through self-financing. Elderly people will be asked to pay a one-off rental fee ranging from $300,000 to $600,000, calculated on the basis that they will live in flats for up to 20 years. A monthly management fee of between $1,100 to $1,800, depending on the size of the flat, will also be charged. 'If the old people live in the units for a shorter period than expected, there will be a refund,' Housing Society chairman Chung Shui-ming said. 'But if they live longer than that, they don't have to pay more.' Fok Tin-man, campaign organiser of the Society for Community Organisation said the charge was too high. The original plan was that the scheme could improve living standards for some elderly people living on their own in old properties with no lifts or advanced facilities. Ms Fok said the one-off rental charge was very high, and the monthly estate management fee even more so. Dorothy Lau Wai-ling, director of Sheng Kung Hui Diocesan Welfare Council, said the management fee covered the use of facilities such as the clubhouse and basic clearing. 'For some rehabilitation and nursing-care services, there will be some extra charges,' she said. Chris Lo Ka-ming, assistant sales manager of Midland Realty's Sceneway Garden branch, said the estate management fee of flats in a middle-class area in Lam Tin was only one dollar per square foot. But the Sheng Kung Hui Diocesan Welfare Council stressed the services it offered were different. 'We provide 24-hour services, the old people can reach our staff if they have any need, even after midnight,' Ms Lau said.