Tai Hang Sai residents want better rehousing plan

The Town Planning Board has endorsed plans to redevelop a housing estate in Shek Kip Mei built more than 50 years ago.

But residents of Tai Hang Sai Estate said they’re unhappy with plans to rehouse them during redevelopment.

The estate is the only private subsidised rental housing estate in Hong Kong. It’s managed by the non-profit Hong Kong Settlers Housing Corporation.

The Town Planning Board on Friday approved with conditions a plan to redevelop the dilapidated estate and build 3,300 new units in eight blocks.

Two-thousand of them are to be sold as private flats to first-time homebuyers while the remaining homes will be used to settle existing tenants.

A former Sham Shui Po district councillor, Tam Kwok-kiu, said the residents, many of them elderly people, are against a proposal under which they would receive a subsidy to help them rent a place elsewhere during redevelopment in the next five to six years.

“We have over 1,000 households here. How can people find a suitable place in the neighbourhood?” he said.

He also criticised a plan to move them to transitional housing or hotels.

“Hotels are not for long-term settlement. You can’t ask people to live in a hotel for five to six years. How can they accommodate their household goods?

“The government can only offer transitional housing far away from Sham Shui Po, like in Yuen Long. People may face many problems.”

Tam said residents hope to move to a nearby public housing estate which will be completed in two years’ time, before eventually settling in their new homes.