Gov’t urges Sin Fong Garden owners to reach consensus

2 renato marques IMG_1359The government has called on Sin Fong Garden proprietors to reach a consensus on the reconstruction of the building in Patane, which was believed to be in danger of collapsing, and prompted the evacuation of 141 resident families in 2012.
In a statement issued last week, the government recalled that proprietors need to reach an agreement on the type of reconstruction they would prefer. Moreover, they urged Sin Fong residents to take legal action as soon as possible, allowing authorities to determine liabilities.
The residents were evacuated on October 2012 and the government has helped support their rent elsewhere. Proprietors have not been able to return to the building and uncertainty regarding who’s responsible for the damages remains.
“We have reached a crucial moment for the building’s reconstruction, so it is expected that proprietors will be able to reach a consensus as soon as possible on how to begin construction works, under both the government and social sector’s support, this being able to return to their homes early,” the interdepartmental group for the Sin Fong Garden released in a statement.
Two years ago, Sin Fong Garden residents started noticing cracks in the walls of the 30-storey building located in Patane. Structural problems led authorities to think that the building was at risk of collapsing.
Since then several findings related to its construction have arisen. For instance, concrete of poor quality was found in four support pillars of the building’s car park. A report on the edifice’s structural problems was released by the government last year, in which a University of Hong Kong civil engineering team stated that an adjacent construction site did not play a role in Sin Fong Garden’s structural flaws.
In a statement, the government’s interdepartmental group for Sin Fong Garden stressed that the Social Affairs Bureau (IAS) has been following proprietors’ needs and granted subsidies for them to rent another flat. They added that recently some homeowners have dealt with difficulties in paying their rent or in renewing tenant agreements. IAS received 38 requests for provisional accommodation services.  CP

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