The government has published yesterday the final report on the public consultation on the urban renewal regime that took place from August 22 to September 20.
The report shows that from the total 11,642 opinions received, some 8,218 (70.6 percent) concern temporary and exchange houses. Many former buyers of the stranded Pearl Horizon real estate development expressed their views during the consultation. Yesterday, the Pearl Horizon buyers association delivered a petition to the Chief Executive saying that they would agree with the new bill if their requests are met.
On the report published by the Policy Research Office, it is also acknowledged that the public consultation received a majority of opinions by comments online, totaling 61.8 percent. Curiously, almost one-third of the total were in the very last day of the 30 that composed the public consultation.
The majority of the opinions, (83.2 percent) are supportive of the temporary and replacement housing bill, while only 6.9 percent are against it. There are still 9.9 percent that expressed opinions considered neutral.
As mentioned, as regarding the temporary housing regime, most of the ones that expressed opinions noted issues regarding the renting fee of such houses. The participants in the public consultation expressed concerns over rental price of such housing units. They also questioned if the government support regarding rent will be, in fact, sufficient to face an expected increase of rental fees.
The opinions come at the light of the governmental intention to fix rental fees for temporary housing “based on the market prices for buildings of the same class.” Many pointed out that such rental prices could be unaffordable for residents of the old neighborhoods that will not be able to afford such rents. Opinions called for the government to take into account the real economic capacity of citizens, specially the ones with low-income and more vulnerable.
The construction criteria of the government houses were also noted, with most of those expressing opinions calling for guarantees that the units will have good construction quality. RM