Macau | Public consultation for system of temporary and replacement housing commences

Macau (MNA) – The Macau SAR Government will start collecting public opinions on Wednesday until September 20 concerning the bill of temporary and replacement housing (RH) which would be constructed by the government in an attempt to renew old residential buildings in the city.

On Tuesday, various department heads introduced the bill during a press conference that it is mainly to address affected owners of the urban renewal plan as well as buyers of the aborted Pearl Horizon residential project to rent or purchase the aforementioned housing.

The bill proposes that the housing would comprise commercial housing units, in which the size of those units would be bigger than those for public housing.

Qualified residents who intend to rent would be granted a subsidy to choose either rental accommodation provided by the government or rental of a flat in the market.

They could also choose to purchase RH when their original houses are demolished and used for public facilities such as a park after the renewal.

Another option allows residents to receive compensation in order to make another purchase in the market, with the compensation amount to be calculated based upon the original house.

The bill also further stated that the government would reference market prices for setting prices for RH.

Asked whether the Administration had considered if the compensation would be able to cover the market price of another flat, the head of the Administration Appeal Bureau of the Commission Against Corruption, Lam Chi Long, said: “The compensation might not be calculated according to the depreciation of the old house”.

“Hence, affected owners of Tong Lau might not necessarily be unable to afford another house [after receiving compensation],” remarked Mr. Lam.

Tong Lau is a common type of low rise residential building in Macau, many of which are very dilapidated and over 30 to 40 years old.

Lam said compensation would only be granted to owners affected by the urban renewal plan, while indicating that the government has no obligation to compensate affected Pearl Horizon buyers.

The bill proposes that the Chief Executive announce via a dispatch the requirements and price for Pearl Horizon buyers to purchase RH, without further details of whether the size of RH would be similar to the off-plan flats as previously claimed by the Secretary for Administration and Justice Sonia Chan Hoi Fan.