Public housing

Lack of visuals a challenge for senior residents in choosing apartments

Lawmaker Wong Kit Cheng has urged the government to provide senior residents with the option of viewing elderly housing units via video to set realistic expectations when selecting flats.

Currently, information about the flats is mainly shared through illustrations, making it challenging for many elderly individuals to visualize the specific layout, view, and proximity to public facilities such as rubbish collection areas and elevators.

Applicants who qualified for the first phase of government apartments for senior residents began selecting accommodation units on Monday.

Prospective applicants arrived at the showroom that morning to participate in the selection process to secure their government apartment. Within the first 15 minutes, starting at 9 a.m., 40 units were selected, most of which were high-rise units facing the park.

By 5 p.m. Monday, 82 applications for unit selection had been completed, including 29 single-person applications and 53 double-person applications, totaling 135 people. Of these, 63 cases were handled online and 19 offline.

Most applicants expressed satisfaction with their apartment, finding these new units more convenient than their previous living situations.

Hon Wai, director of the Social Welfare Bureau (IAS), visited the area in the morning and reported that the average selection process took about 10 minutes. Qualified applicants are expected to complete their selections by early November.

The first batch of 759 units is slated for occupancy in October, while the remaining 700 units will not be ready until early 2025.

The bureau reminded applicants to choose a unit within the 90-day period specified in their official notification letter, and to submit applications on time. The relevant procedures cannot be completed before the designated period.

Lawmaker Wong hopes that after the initial 1,500 flats in the first phase are allocated, the government will promptly allocate the remaining flats to other eligible applicants on the waiting list, and consider providing the same concessionary user fees to subsequent tenants, thereby expanding the scope of beneficiaries.

Wong also urges the government to consider population forecasts and continue assessing the community’s long-term need for apartments for the elderly, ensuring that land is allocated to build new units in a timely manner.

This comes as the government has forecasted that by 2041 there will be more than 160,000 people aged 65 or above in Macau, according to its population forecast report. Lynzy Valles & Nadia Sha

Categories Headlines Macau