Social housing income caps to raise 10 percent

Saturday, June 11, 2011
Issue 1329, Page 3
Word count: 522
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Housing Bureau (IHM) intends to propose to the Secretary for Transport and Public Works next week to raise income caps of social housing applications by around 10 percent.

The bureau president Tam Kuong Man told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Housing Management Forum yesterday that the government will strive to introduce the new income ceilings within the year.

He also said the adjustment has taken the recent changes in rental prices into consideration.

In the plenary meeting at the Legislative Assembly early this month, Tam responded to an oral interpellation that the IHM would consider raising the upper and lower limits of income for social housing applications so that applicants would not be disqualified after the Macau Government increased elderly pensions.

The draft law of the affordable housing system – still under deliberation at the legislature –has proposed to use the social housing income cap as the income floor for affordable housing.

On the other hand, speaking at the forum at the Macau Tower, Tam said problems emerged from property management have become “increasingly complicated” in Macau, and therefore a professional building management system will “meet the actual needs” of the city’s social development.

Although the IHM recently established the Arbitration Centre for Building Management, he pointed out that it could not completely deal with issues and it’s also important to form a “landlord committee” by the owners of each flat in a building.

In addition, the bureau chief disclosed that the draft bill of the legal system for property management business and its personnel was already submitted to the relative legal department in the fourth quarter of 2010, although he wasn’t certain as to when the legislation will come into effect.

The bill has proposed that a licensing system will be implemented for related companies while security guards will also be subjected to a special certification system.

Tam said he believed the legal system can improve the service quality of the industry as well as facilitate its professional development.

Moreover, he revealed that the Legal Affairs Bureau (DSAJ) is researching a revision of the “hierarchical ownership system” in the Civil Code, in response to “social demands for a reform in property management”.

Yesterday’s forum gathered experts and scholars from mainland China, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong and Macau to deliver a keynote speech related to housing management.

One of the guest speakers, chairman of the Hong Kong Housing Managers Registration Board Mingo Kwan Sze Ming, told reporters that in order to achieve professionalism, the government must reinforce publicity and education in society, support the professional training of building management talent and take an active role in enhancing the service quality of industry practitioners.

Kwan said local people also need to understand that quality management “does cost more [management fees] and the importance of it”.

He pointed out that when all the hardware is ready, the final stage towards reaching professionalism, which is also “the most important step”, is to cultivate “sincerity” of staff for their job.

Apart from a “reasonable salary and career prospect”, he said a “good system [in the industry] and social recognition” are key as well.

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