The Home Affairs Department (HAD) today (March 12) held a ceremony to commend 56 Resident Liaison Ambassadors (RLAs) and graduates of the LEAD Programme for their active involvement and contributions to building management over the past year.
Addressing the ceremony, the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Raymond Young, said that the HAD has all along been committed to the promotion of a good building management culture, and has put forward various measures to provide support for owners and residents.
He said that one of the major tasks of the HAD was to encourage owners and residents to care more about their buildings and to actively participate in building management. The RLA Scheme and the LEAD Programme designed for committee members of the owners' corporations (OCs) have strengthened communication between relevant government departments and residents and provided the latter with timely and appropriate assistance. The two programmes have also enhanced residents' participation in and knowledge of building management, thereby raising the quality of building management considerably.
The HAD also strives to step up support for owners of old buildings. In November 2011 the Building Management Professional Advisory Service Scheme (BMPASS) was introduced to provide one-stop professional support services for over a thousand "three nil" buildings.
Mr Young said, “The scheme has been very well received by owners and residents since its launch and the results are encouraging. As for now, the two appointed property management companies commissioned by the HAD have provided services to 1200 buildings and facilitated the establishment or re-activation of nearly 100 OCs. The companies are also assisting them to apply for various subsidies and loans for carrying out repair works. We will review the BMPASS later in the hope of extending it in phases in the long run to cover other buildings in need and benefit more owners of old buildings.”
Regarding financial support, the HAD has been assisting the Community Care Fund in implementing the “Subsidy for Owners' Corporations of Old Buildings” since October last year to provide subsidies to owners of old buildings with low rateable values to improve building management. Each OC can apply for a maximum of $20,000 subsidy. “The response has been overwhelming as over 2 400 OCs have already expressed an interest to apply,” he added.
In addition, the Panel of Advisors on Building Management Disputes provides owners and residents involved in building management disputes with impartial and authoritative advice by professionals including lawyers, accountants and surveyors. There have been many successful cases. The HAD will continue to promote this scheme in the hope of assisting more owners and residents to resolve their disputes.
Mr Young also appealed to the RLAs and LEAD Programme graduates to continue to work with the Government in promoting better building management in the community.
Since the launch of the RLA Scheme in November 2011, the HAD has successfully recruited more than 800 RLAs from some 440 buildings. They actively establish a resident liaison network to promote the message of effective building management and assist in contacting residents for meetings to discuss routine building management matters, such as cleaning, security and fire safety. Through the RLAs, the HAD has assisted 36 old buildings to form OCs, mainly in Kowloon City, Wan Chai, Central and Western districts, 23 of which are actively preparing to carry out building maintenance works to further enhance the living environment.
“Surely establishing OCs is the best method to resolve the problems of ‘three nil’ buildings. However, we have to understand that due to different reasons, it is difficult for some buildings to establish OCs. Under such circumstances, RLAs play an important role in building management,”Mr Young said.
The LEAD Programme is designed for members of the management committees of the OCs with a view to enhancing their knowledge of building management. Four classes have been organised since January 2011. One hundred graduates have also formed the BM Link, whereby through regular meetings and outreach activities graduates can strengthen ties and help foster a building care culture in the community.
Ends/Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Issued at HKT 20:16