Elderly in race to pay a bundle for Hung Hom home

Those elderly who have applied for a flat at Blissful Place in Hung Hom - the Housing Society's third project under its senior citizen residences scheme - will be able to move in halfway through this year.

There are more than 500 applicants in the race for 312 one-to-two-person flats.

The units, which are not for sale, are rented out on long leases. Tenants are required to pay a lump sum entry contribution of about HK$1 million to HK$2 million, and only have to pay service fees for property management and basic services.

Show flats at Lee Kung Street will be open for public viewing next month, chairman Chan Kar-lok said.

The first two projects - Jolly Place in Tseung Kwan O and Cheerful Court in Ngau Tau Kok - were completed in 2003 and 2004.

More than half of the 312 flats are one-bedroom units and the rest are studio flats.

The units adopt a design that includes non-flame cooking, low door threshold, double peepholes, non-slip tiles and handrails in toilets, an integrated care link system, thematic color for each floor for easy identification and fire alarm lights.

Other conveniences are one-stop care services, including a residential care home and rehabilitation services. It also has recreational facilities including a sky garden, reading room and gymnasium.

The society will build about 1,060 flats under the scheme in three other projects, including at Pak Wo Road in Fan Ling, the redevelopment of Kwun Tong Garden Estate II and the phase III redevelopment of Ming Wah Dai Ha in Shau Kei Wan.

Chan said the society has 25 projects in the planning phase or under construction and that more than 45,000 flats will be built within 20 years. Of these, 35,000 will be built within the next 10 years, with about half of those expected to be completed in five years.

"It will be the production peak in these few years," Chan said.

The expected units will include the redevelopment of old estates, subsidized sale housing, elderly housing, dedicated housing estates and the development of three urban squatter areas in Cha Kwo Ling, Ngau Chi Wan and Chuk Yuen United Village, he added.

But the society expects a funding gap in the next two years due to fewer flats being sold in the past two years and with many projects still in development.

Chan said the society will negotiate with banks on loans and expected to get them within this year. It will also consider issuing bonds in the long term.