Macau (MNA) – The government’s recent announcement of a bill regarding the system of temporary and replacement housing for affected flat owners and off-plan unit buyers of the aborted Pearl Horizon residential project whereby they can purchase or rent during the process of urban renewal is “reasonable”, according to Paul Tse, president of the Macao Association of Building Contractors and Developers.
Tse expressed this view despite comments that the bill should not be introduced prior to the principal law of urban renewal.
“There is no such condition in which the cart is put before the horse,” opined the president. “It takes a long time to work on urban renewal […] it covers a lot of areas such as tax arrangement, compensation and approval ratio of ownership for reconstruction.”
He added that it is suitable to have urban renewal progress by allowing different areas to advance separately.
For instance, the bill of tax rebate for renovating old buildings has already been submitted to the Legislative Assembly (AL) for final reading.
Nonetheless, the government needs to draft the principal law to settle the technical aspects such as the calculation of the amount of compensation as well as ownership ratio to secure approvals.
“The urban renewal planning committee will need to discuss [those technical matters] in detail,” said Mr. Tse.
The bill proposes that housing would comprise commercial housing units, but information such as materials and related facilities was not disclosed.
“When the main law is not available yet it is not appropriate to set forth details,” remarked Mr. Tse. “We do not know in the end whether those details would be executed and also the [intention to renew the urban areas] should not have society focus on the details but the bigger framework.”
Meanwhile, Kou Meng Pok, chairman of the Pearl Horizon Condominium Owners United Association, said the government should be “less conservative”.
“The government should include not only natural persons [of the affected owners of buildings] but also legal persons,” said Mr. Kou.
The recent bill suggests that only natural persons from Macau who had purchased the off-plan units of the Pearl Horizon project would be qualified to purchase the aforementioned housing.
“And there are many buyers from Hong Kong and Mainland China […] who would suffer a great loss if the policy only allows natural persons from Macau to purchase such housing.”