It is proposed that every residential block will have an owners' corporation All residential blocks in Hong Kong would be required to set up an owners' corporation and appoint a property manager under proposals to be drafted by officials to improve the quality of buildings. Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands Michael Suen Ming-yeung told the South China Morning Post yesterday all buildings also would be graded on their quality of maintenance. A consultation exercise would take place at the end of the year to collect public views on how to tackle the problem of poor management of ageing buildings. About 50,000 buildings do not have an owners' corporation. According to the government figures, the city has about 10,000 blocks that are at least 30 years old and many are poorly managed. Mr Suen said the government was studying policies and laws on building management in other countries. He cited the Canadian model, under which owners of all buildings have to form a committee and appoint an agent to look after maintenance. He said the grading system, which would be carried out by authorised professionals, would give owners another incentive to keep their properties in good shape as this would increase their value. The policy also would boost the economy by creating jobs for construction workers. Mr Suen said those who failed to comply with the new rules would face heavy penalties. He knew it would be difficult to enforce the new policy because of the financial implications for property owners. But he believed more people would realise the importance of building management and maintenance in the wake of the Sars outbreak. 'Our major concern is the acceptance of property owners because they are the people who pay for the management and maintenance,' Mr Suen said. 'Of course, we understand there are people who have genuine financial difficulties. In such cases, the government will provide assistance.'