The Government has started a 30-day public consultation on a proposed legal framework for provision of interim housing and replacement housing to support the city’s urban renewal scheme.
The public consultation was announced by the Policy Research Office during a press conference on Tuesday (21 August) and runs until 20 September inclusive.
The proposed urban renewal scheme includes a legal framework covering the possibility of rehousing homeowners or providing compensation to them in relation to Government-led redevelopment or demolition. The aim was to provide an alternative from the commercial housing market, for homeowners affected by such urban renewal.
The consultation document had suggested two forms of rehousing under the urban renewal scheme: interim housing and replacement housing.
Interim housing would be designed for those homeowners temporarily displaced by urban renewal projects. They may either rent a housing unit in the private market with help from the Government’s resettlement allowance, or choose to stay in Government-provided interim housing if available.
Replacement housing would be newly-built stock to cover for instances where either buildings had been – or were due to be – demolished and where homeowners would be unable to return to their original unit. The Government had suggested – after studying practices in other jurisdictions – offering affected homeowners a compensation that they could use to buy a property in the private market or to buy a replacement housing unit.
Buyers of such replacement housing would be granted full legal title, meaning the units could be rented, sold or occupied personally, depending on the preference of the individual.
In addition, the proposal suggested that in instances where redevelopment had been mandated by the Government for public interest reasons other than urban renewal, affected homeowners should also be entitled to apply for replacement housing.
Replacement housing would also be made available in situations where a land plot had reverted to the Government due to a concessionaire failing to meet development conditions attached to it. Such conditions include missing the 25-year deadline to develop the plot as stated in the respective land concession.
Should the Government’s proposed framework be adopted, replacement housing units would be made available to eligible individual buyers of units in the unfinished Pearl Horizon project, a scheme where the land plot had reverted to the administration.
The Government’s recommendation that the right to replacement housing – under the proposed legal framework – should be applicable to eligible Pearl Horizon buyers was out of good intention and in order to provide a solution to address the housing needs of those people, despite the fact that the Government had no financial obligations or responsibilities to those buyers.
The consultation document, available respectively in Chinese and in Portuguese, is available at a dedicated website run by the Policy Research Office (http://www.gep.gov.mo/comment/).
Members of the public are welcome to contribute their opinions and suggestions via the dedicated website (http://www.gep.gov.mo/comment/). Opinions can be sent also to the Policy Research Office, via any of the following methods: by email at email@example.com; by post to P.O. Box 1375; by telephone on +853 2883 9919; by fax on +853 2882 3426; or in person to representatives of the Policy Research Office at Rua do Desporto, No.185-195, Taipa, Macao.