Information Paper for the
Legislative Council Panel on Housing
Removal of Fixtures in Home Ownership Scheme FlatsPURPOSE
This paper informs Members of the measures taken by the Housing Authority to minimise alterations to fixtures by owners of new Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats. BACKGROUND
2. A survey conducted between October 1998 and January 1999 reveals that about half of the HOS flat owners have carried out alterations to some fixtures before moving into the new flats.
3. The target customers of HOS are clearly identified. The level of provisions is determined by the functional needs and cost effectiveness.
(a) Providing Wider Choice
4. To provide wider choice, there are three types of HOS design, namely, Concord Blocks, New Cruciform Block and Harmony Blocks, offering different standards of finishes and fittings to suit customers' needs. These designs effectively represent three steps in HOS, from the Harmony Blocks with minimal fitting out to the fully fitted Concord Blocks. The intention of providing a high standard of fitting-out in Concord Block is to minimise possible re-decoration by the owners. (So far, no Concord Block has been occupied.)
(b) Opinion Surveys
5. Opinion surveys are conducted regularly to determine the customers' expectations. Designs are amended in the light of the findings. Public consultation to gauge customers' preference was conducted when the Concord Blocks were first designed in 1995 and the final designs have reflected this. In mid-1999, further opinion surveys on the fully-fitted Concord Blocks will be conducted.(c) Colour Choice of Decoration Scheme
6. A pilot scheme has also been conducted in two Concord Blocks in Tin Shui Wai under HOS Sale Phase 19C, allowing choice of some colours of cabinets and worktops in kitchens and bathrooms. The results will be evaluated after the in-take scheduled for October 1999.
(d) "Basic Shell" Concept
7. To meet the varied expectations of HOS owners and to minimise possible demolition and alteration of the existing provisions, a "Basic Shell" concept is under consideration, where only essential fittings to comply with the statutory requirements are provided for HOS flats. Contractual implications, cost effectiveness and construction programme are factors for consideration. The exact scope of such an arrangement must be carefully considered because a large proportion of the HOS buyers do not make major alterations to their flats.
8. The Housing Authority will continue to take a proactive approach in addressing the issue.
Information Paper for theMembers' Question
Legislative Council Panel on Housing
The Administration's Response to Questions raised by Members
Removal of Fixtures in Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) Flats
Many owners have removed the original fixtures provided by the Housing Authority in their HOS flats such as bath tubs, wash basins, flushing toilets, wall tiles, floor tiles end even the flooring before moving in. Considering that,
- the objective of the provisions in the Building (Planning) Regulations (Cap 123) regarding fixtures in kitchens and toilets is to set down relevant requirements for developers to provide a suitable living environment for residents; and
- some owners of HOS flats need the fixtures provided by HA,
will the Government consider allowing prospective owners of HOS flats to choose whether they want the Housing Authority to provide such fixtures in their flats before installation work proceeds ?
The Administration's Response
The Building (Planning) Regulations (Cap 123) (Section 38) stipulate the basic requirements for kitchen and bathroom accommodations. These requirements include lighting, ventilation and provision standards for the purpose of providing habitable dwelling. There is no specific guidance on the designs, colour choice or range of fittings.
Opinion surveys are conducted regularly by the Housing Authority to determine customers' expectations; and designs are amended in the light of the findings. The objective is to provide fittings and standards to meet customers' needs. A pilot scheme on "Colour Choice of Decoration Scheme" has been conducted in two Concord Blocks in Tin Shui Wai under HOS Phase 19C. The exact scope of allowing prospective owners of HOS flats to choose whether they want the Housing Authority to provide such fixtures in their flats before installation work proceeds must be carefully considered. It must be recognised that a large proportion of the purchasers do not make major alterations to their units. In any event, the Housing Authority aims to upgrade the standard of finishing and fittings and to offer wider choice to purchasers.
It is learnt that a trial project has been implemented for Blocks E & F of Phase 19C of HOS (i.e. Tin Shing Court in Tin Shui Wai) to allow prospective owners to choose the colour of their fixtures, such as worktop of kitchen cabinets, counter tip of bathroom vanity unit, as well as kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors. The Housing Authority will invite prospective owners to choose the colour when they choose their flats. Has the Housing Department conducted any review on the implementation of these measures ? What are the results ? Given that the Housing Authority may allow prospective owners to choose the colour of their fixtures, will the Housing Department also consider letting prospective owners choose whether they want the Housing Authority to provide such fixtures in the first place ?
The Administration' Response
The pilot scheme on "Colour Choice of Decoration Scheme" in two Concord Blocks at Tin Shui Wai has been implemented under HOS Phase 19C. An opinion survey was conducted to ascertain the level of satisfaction. Favourable response was received, but the survey also showed that owners would not be attracted to select these two HOS blocks simply because of the Scheme.
The satisfaction level on the standard of fittings and provisions of Concord Blocks will be fully assessed after in-take of the two blocks in October 1999. The Department is critically reviewing options to minimise possible demolition and alteration of the existing provisions. This include the "Basic Shell" concept where only essential fittings to comply with the statutory requirements are provided for HOS flats. Contractual implications, cost effectiveness and construction programme are factors for consideration.