The Urban Renewal Authority has started two redevelopment projects in Ma Tau Kok, Kowloon, which will cost HK$860 million. The two projects involve 10 blocks of flats and commercial buildings built in the 1950s. About 450 residents from 175 households are affected. Of the households, 121 of them own their flats. The two project sites are located at the junction of Chi Kiang Street and Ha Heung Road, and the junction of Pak Tai Street and Mok Cheong Street. The redevelopment projects are expected to be completed by 2014, yielding 210 flats and 27,600 sq ft of commercial area. In both projects, buildings will be set back for a street greening effect, which will allow a better pedestrian flow. Iris Tam Siu-ying, the authority's executive director of planning and development, said the two sites were selected because of the deteriorating condition of the buildings. 'The buildings were built in the 1950s,' Ms Tam said. 'Their condition is such that rehabilitation is not desirable. 'There are more buildings of this age at other sites, but we can only do one at a time.' The redevelopment projects have been welcomed by flat owners, but met with a mixed reception from residential and commercial tenants. Chan Sum Oi-kum, 77, lives alone in a fourth-floor flat of more than 1,000 sq ft. Her husband bought the flat more than 30 years ago for HK$1 million, but had moved to a home for the elderly. Their children had married and moved out. Mrs Chan, who is retired, lives on a monthly Comprehensive Social Security Allowance of HK$2,000. 'If the government wants to take this building, let it go ahead. I would just be happy to move into a 400 sq ft flat with an escalator,' Mrs Chan said. 'My bad leg can't bear the stairs anymore. 'One time when I was cooking in the kitchen, large blocks of cement fell from the ceiling. Since then I have no longer dared to cook.' 'But what can I do? I can't even afford to eat properly, let alone fix my flat.' According to the authority, Mrs Chan may be able to get millions of dollars in compensation, calculated on the basis of the building's market value and the average price of the seven-year-old residential buildings in the same district. Lee Bun, who rents a room in a shared flat, said the drainage system was leaking. 'My room smells. A kitchen and bathroom are in my room and they use the same pipe under the floor,' said the 81-year-old, who pays HK$1,400 a month for the room. 'I would like to move to a public housing estate. It would be cleaner and nicer.' But a tailor surnamed Ho in his late 50s said he was uncertain about the future if his shop had to relocate. He has rented the same premises for more than 30 years. He pays HK$8,000 a month for the 160 sq ft shop. 'This is the very first shop I have run, right after completing my training. Most of my customers live in the district,' said Mr Ho, who preferred not to disclose his full name. 'I can't think of where I should move to keep the customers.' According to the authority, affected residential and commercial tenants will receive cash compensation equivalent to three months' rent. Tenants of flats may alternatively choose not to receive a payment and to move to public housing if they are eligible.