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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Kai Tak homes plan a done deal, insists Ho

A plan to build light public housing units in Kai Tak and seven other plots across the SAR is a done deal and authorities will not consider other sites for the temporary housing, says the Secretary for Housing, Winnie Ho Wing-yin, despite opposition from Kai Tak residents and other sectors.
The deputy chief secretary, Warner Cheuk Wing-hing, also hit back yesterday at voices against the housing plans and said people who had not endured a poor living environment had no moral grounds to say no to rescuing grassroot families.

In a radio program yesterday, Ho reiterated that the government had secured the Kai Tak site for the housing scheme in response to calls for more urban locations.

"The Kai Tak site was not easy to come by," she said. "These eight locations are the best choices we can propose at the moment."

Speaking on the sidelines of a construction launch ceremony for a 519-unit transitional housing project in Kai Tak yesterday, Ho said building light public housing will not affect the area becoming the second central business district of Hong Kong.

She said the long-term use of the site at Olympic Avenue would remain unchanged, but since it is now used for bus parking, she insisted the land can be used to build light public housing for the short term, which will help the government meet the demand.

"When the long-term use of the land arises after two-year construction and five-year usage, we will return the land, and I believe the Development Bureau will make further decisions by then," she added.

Meanwhile, Cheuk wrote on Facebook that the public should exercise their "Lion Rock Spirit" and empathy.

He said as a native Hongkonger, the most important thing is to help get those living in subdivided units out of misery as soon as possible, and not to target the project's higher cost compared to transitional housing.

Tony Wan Wai-ming, sales and marketing director for Hong Kong property of private developer K Wah, and former director of planning Ling Kar-kan also voiced their support for light public housing at Kai Tak.

Wan said building light public housing in Kai Tak can benefit the development of this area by boosting the flow of people, making good use of idle land and strengthening transport support.

Wan also said the short-term light public housing will not affect the pricing of private property in the area.

Ling said light public housing can improve the living conditions of tenants of subdivided units.
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