In an attempt to get urban renewal projects finally off the ground, Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On said Wednesday the government would build temporary housing for affected residents when the urban renewal projects are being implemented.
Chui also said the government would draft a series of bills to support the city’s urban renewal projects such as reducing certain types of taxes to encourage residents to reconstruct their old buildings
The chief executive made the announcement during Wedenesday’s Q&A session in the legislature.
“I hope the government can find some land for the construction of temporary housing soon …and residents affected by the urban renewal projects can live there temporarily. I believe the idea is useful to ensure that the urban renewal plan is really implemented,” Chui said in response to lawmakers Si Ka Lon and Chan Hong’s questions about the government’s urban renewal projects and reconstruction of old buildings.
Chui also said the government-appointed Urban Renewal Council was studying how to proceed with the urban renewal projects.
“There are suggestions that the government should be responsible for all the developments, or the government should draft a by-law regulating the setting-up of a company to deal with the matter,” Chui said, adding that the government would make a decision on the matter soon.
Chui added the government would also draft a bill regulating the approval percentage of flat owners needed to start the reconstruction of an old building.
The chief executive also said that all the plots of land which the government has repossessed will be used for the construction of public housing, public facilities and government offices.
The government’s public housing programme comprises low rental social housing flats and subsidised home-ownership scheme (HOS) flats.
In response to issues involving land swaps and land concessions raised by lawmakers, Chui admitted that the government has used a total of 88,806 square metres which actually had been leased to developers, adding the plots had been used for a public housing projects in Seac Pai Van and Ilha Verde, public facilities such as Praça de Lotus Dourada and an extension project for the refuse incineration plant in Taipa.
Chui also said that some of the land had been granted by the government to the Wynn and MGM casino resorts in the peninsula and the Galaxy in Cotai.
Chui insisted that the government will strictly abide by the Land Law when handling any undeveloped plots of land whose provisional land concessions have expired.
According to the Land Law, provisional land concessions cannot be renewed if their leaseholders fail to develop the land within a maximum concession period of 25 years. The government has said it is determined to repossess all plots of undeveloped land exceeding the 25-year limit.
About a dozen plots’ concessions in Nam Van will expire at the end of this month.