More than 900 public housing storage rooms are empty for 110,000 baht
The waiting time for public housing has reached a new high, and the Housing Department has lost 110,000 ft of storage space for many years. The Office of the Ombudsman found that the Housing Department had more than 900 storage rooms that could be converted into residential buildings, and the largest one was over 700 square feet. The system was criticized for its rigid system and failed to assess the situation. For the residence.
The HD said that it has invested more than 10 million to renovate 40 residential units and 20 non-residential units, and will further rebuild about 30 residential units in the future.
Some of the early public housing estates will be divided into storage rooms. As of the end of August last year, there were 959 vacant storage rooms in Hong Kong with a total area of over 109,000 square feet. The Complaints Office found that although 68% of the vacant storage rooms are less than 100 square feet, there is also a large area that is vacant. The investigation director Zhang Chuangrong said that there is a storage room of 742 square feet in the village of Caiyun (1). In 2014, the recycling has been idle, and together with this storage room, two other similar storage rooms in the village are vacant.
Zhang Chuangrong quoted the Housing Department as explaining that the storage room could not be converted into a residential unit due to the adjoining parking facilities and failed to open the windows, which did not meet the requirements of the Buildings Ordinance.
The Complaint Office: Half a mile should not be wasted
The Office of the Index has consulted the professional opinions of the building owners. It considers that some of the storage rooms that are not in compliance with the Ordinance can be moved to meet the requirements of the Ordinance, such as increasing windows and installing exhaust fans. Afterwards, 8 units that had been rejected as residential units were successfully rebuilt, and 42 storage rooms could be rebuilt in the future.
The survey also found that there were a large number of spaces in the estate for ventilation and access. The feasibility of redevelopment was changed. The Housing Department successfully converted three spaces for residential use in 2017.
The Ombudsman Liu Yanqing believes that “the land resources are expensive and should not be wasted for a long time." The public’s demand for housing can be said to be very hot. It is criticized that the Housing Department has failed to assess the situation and urged the Housing Department to actively change the storage room and space to residential units. . She also suggested that the HD may consider renting a storage room to a social welfare agency or converting it into a shared space.
The Housing Department said that in recent years, it has actively studied the feasibility of converting a residential storage room into a residential building. It has rebuilt 40 residential buildings and 20 non-residential properties. The total expenditure involved is estimated to be about 10.24 million yuan. The estimated total annual rent is expected. The income is about 1.94 million yuan.