New hope for public housing applications

Friday, June 26, 2009
Issue 744, Page 2
Word count: 751
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

A public works source said yesterday the government is inclined to revise the Public Housing Ordinance via administrative regulations and strives to have it done before September so that applications for public housing can be resumed.

By adopting administrative regulations the bill will not need to go through the Legislative Assembly, which will see its current term end in mid-August.

The government source said after attending the TN27 foundation laying ceremony that the Housing Bureau (IH) has already drafted the administrative regulation to amend the Public Housing Ordinance.

“We won’t be satisfied if the legislative process is to be completed in September [as said in the government information earlier],” he added.

Applications for public housing have been suspended after 2003. It was until late last year the 2009 Policy Address revealed that applications will be put back in place after the Public Housing Ordinance is revised in the second quarter of this year.

Yet, after entering April the administration said that applications could only be accepted after September this year when the Ordinance was amended and the IH office building was expanded.

The revision bill, which suggests tougher application requirements, was indeed introduced back in July 2007 but after the public consultation it had been withhold for some unidentified reasons.

Secretary for Public Works and Transport, Lau Si Io, also said yesterday in the foundation laying ceremony that the revision of the law will comply with the construction progress of the public housing.

When asked about the progress of the public housing project on the site of the already demolished Mong Ha Barrack, Lau said the IH has been drawing the building been and after the design a construction tender will be staged.

However, Lau told reporters the original concept of a tenancy scheme for newlyweds might have to face changes.

“We’re studying the public opinions collected before finalising the use of the public housing to be built on the old barrack site,” he added.

However, the secretary revealed that the authorities are encountering a technical problem in the design of the building plan.

“TDM’s TV signals are being transmitted through that land parcel to the Guia Hill transmission tower before being sent to the whole of Macau. We’re trying the fix the problem and it should be done very soon,” he said.

Lau reiterated that the carpark on the site is only for temporary purpose as the design takes time and the government does not want to “waste the space”.

On the other hand, Lau Sio Io, IH director Chiang Coc Meng, Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau director Jaime Carion and Infrastructure Development Office chief Chan Hon Kit yesterday laid the foundation at Lot TN27 in Estrada Coronel Nicolau de Mesquita, Taipa, which marked the beginning of the construction of the SAR government’s first fully-funded economic housing project.

Lau said that together with the soon to be built economic housing in Ilha Verde Neighbourhood Lot 4 – which has already obtained the construction license – the first phase of 7,000 public housing units will then be all under construction.

Of which, he said that 3,000 will be completed this year whilst the remaining units are expected to be completed by the end of 2011.

The TN27 project comprises six residential buildings standing at 46 to 48 levels on a nearly 16,400 square metre land parcel.

It will be able to provide 2,703 units made up of one bedroom, two bedrooms or three bedrooms.

Costing around 1.45 billion patacas, the construction is expected to be due in the second half of 2011.

In addition, a three-storey car park will be built that can house up to 683 light vehicles and 1,126 scooters.

Taipa’s first indoor bus terminal and inter-change station occupying 6,600 square metres will also be built on the site in order to meet the future traffic and population growth in the island.

Substantial areas will at the same time be reserved for social services facilities, shops, a supermarket, gardens and a green open space.

Lot TN27 used to be occupied by squatters and locals who claimed ownership of the land parcel. It was until March 25 this year the government sent a team of 150 officers to evict the people in order to allow the construction of the economic housing.

“The government has always been concerned about squatted land. We will recover illegally occupied land parcels again based on the normal procedures if we need them for the construction of schools, public facilities or public housing,” Lau said.

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