Public housing tenants will lose points if they fail to comply Public housing tenants who refuse to have their flats inspected and repair work conducted under a new estate improvement scheme run the risk of eviction. The warning came yesterday as all but one Housing Authority member endorsed the Housing Department's $6.3 billion 'Total Maintenance Scheme', which is due to start on January 1. Lau Kai-hung, deputy director for housing (estate management), told authority members there would be various means to ensure tenants' compliance with the scheme. 'Tenants who would not allow inspectors to enter their homes would have seven points deducted [under the existing Marking Scheme for Tenancy Enforcement] and they would have another seven points taken away if they don't oblige to undertake the repairs required and let things such as water leaks continue,' he said. 'If they don't do either, a total of 14 points will be deducted.' Tenants who notch up 16 demerit points or more under the scheme would have their tenancies terminated immediately. It was recently proposed that tenants refusing inspections would not be allowed to re-apply for public housing for two years. Mr Lau expects tenants whose flats need repairs to pay between $100 and $1,000 under the scheme. He said households on welfare, who could not afford the repairs, could either apply for special allowances from the Social Welfare Department or seek free services from voluntary organisations. Authority member Fred Li Wah-ming of the Democratic Party, who endorsed the initiative, said some of the current maintenance problems at public estates were structural, such as low water pressure and leaking toilets. Shih Wing-ching, the scheme's lone objector, said it might go against the policy of small government because it required the authority to take up some of the responsibilities that he felt should reside with the tenants. 'I am worried you may be doing too much. Perhaps, when you begin, it should be limited to those parts that may endanger public safety, such as falling aluminium windows,' he said. The department said 60 teams of inspectors would check on 30 estates each year so that all 650,000 public housing rental flats could be inspected in the coming five years. The teams will also carry out minor repairs for tenants and a headquarters unit would be set up to look after the procurement and monitoring process, including recruitment, selection, training and performance auditing. Two new databases, one recording flat-to-flat maintenance history and the other on works requests and complaints, will be created, while a hotline service will be set up to help improve efficiency in handling maintenance requests and complaints. The department expects the scheme to create about 1,000 jobs in the construction and decoration industries.