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  New measures to enhance management of "three nil" buildings

The Government is actively pushing forward a series of measures to comprehensively enhance building management and raise public awareness of building management and safety, including the Building Management Professional Advisory Service Scheme (BMPASS) and the Resident Liaison Ambassador Scheme. The two schemes are targetted mainly at old buildings, in particular old single blocks known as "three nil" buildings, i.e. those without owners' corporations (OCs), residents' organisations or property management companies (PMCs).


Building Management Professional Advisory Service Scheme
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Witnessed by the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Raymond Young, the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Pamela Tan today (November 18) signed contracts with two successful tenderers for the BMPASS to mark its official start.

From now till March 31, 2014, the BMPASS will benefit owners and occupants living in 1 200 private buildings in Hong Kong's 18 districts. The scheme will offer free professional advisory services in relation to building safety and public safety, and assist in the formation of OCs and residents' organisations.

Mr Young said, "It is the first time that the Home Affairs Department (HAD) has engaged PMCs to provide professional advisory services to owners of old buildings on the basis of clusters of buildings and on a medium contract term."

The scheme has two characteristics:

(i) Implementing the scheme on the basis of building clusters can be more cost-effective, facilitate synergy and encourage owners to learn from one another to tackle the problem of building neglect.

(ii) The PMCs, with their professionalism, can assist owners in overcoming the hurdles of initial start-up and co-ordination, so that owners can be progressively trained and eventually take up the management responsibility for their own property.

"With the joint efforts of the two companies, we hope to achieve a 'win-win' objective: assisting property owners in resolving the building management problems; raising the professionalism of the property management industry of managing old buildings and establishing a positive image for the industry," said Mr Young.

Introducing details of the scheme, Mrs Tan said the main service recipients will be residential or composite buildings 30 years old or above; average rateable value of the residential units does not exceed $100,000; the common areas of the buildings are in disrepair or in a dilapidated condition requiring maintenance or repair work; and the building that does not have an OC or the OC is defunct.

The appointed PMCs will provide free professional advisory services which include:

* conducting home visits and contacting owners direct, assisting them in forming OCs or other forms of owners'/residents' organisations;
* helping to prepare management audit reports for the common areas of the buildings;
* attending OC meetings to provide professional advice and secretarial support;
* assisting OCs or owners in applying for various subsidy or loan schemes, and in following up on repair works and tender procedures;
* assisting OCs in procuring third party risks insurance; and
* providing building management training to management committee members and owners.


Resident Liaison Ambassador Scheme
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To tackle the complicated management issues of old buildings, the HAD launched today a new "Resident Liaison Ambassador Scheme". The scheme is targetted at buildings with a high mobility of residents, for which it is relatively difficult to form OCs or other form of residents' organisations.

Mr Young said, "We shall recruit owners or tenants who have reached 18 years of age from buildings of 30 years old or above and without any form of management to be "Resident Liaison Ambassadors". The ambassadors will assist government departments in contacting residents, engaging them to discuss and handle routine building management matters such as cleaning, security, fire safety as well as encouraging them to help promote building management."

Apart from basic training courses on building management, the Ambassadors will also be invited to join training activities on building safety or fire prevention organised by government departments and to discuss with the District Offices on the building management matters of mutual concern. The Ambassadors will become important contact points for "three nil" buildings.


Long-term measures
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On measures to tackle building management in the long term, the Review Committee on the Building Management Ordinance formed earlier this year is studying in detail problems commonly found in building management and will examine if these problems can be resolved by any legislative amendment. The committee will submit its interim report to the Government by the first half of next year.

In order to speed up the regulation of the property management industry, the HAD has also formed an advisory committee to help the drafting of the bill and lay down detailed licensing requirements. Chaired by Mr Chung Pui-lam, the committee has 15 other members from various sectors including property management, surveying, facility management, accountancy and engineering, as well as Legislative Councillors. The committee will hold its first meeting next month to discuss the concrete work plan.

Mr Young said, "Since building management problems are complicated and tedious, the concerted efforts and continuous co-operation of owners, tenants, OCs and PMCs is required to enhance building management quality."

InTo learn more about building management support programmes, the public may view the HAD's dedicated website on building management (www.buildingmgt.gov.hk) or contact the District Building Management Liaison Team of the respective District Offices.

18 November 2011

Witnessed by the Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Raymond Young (centre), and the Deputy Director of Home Affairs, Mr Jack Chan (first right), the Director of Home Affairs, Mrs Pamela Tan (second left), today (November 18) signed contracts with two successful tenderers for the Building Management Professional Advisory Service Scheme to mark its official start. The representatives of the two property management companies are the Director of China Overseas Property Services Ltd, Mr Cliff Wong (first left), and the Director of Shui On Property Management Ltd, Mr Eric Leung (second right). Mr Young (centre) introduces the latest developments in building-management-related initiatives. Also attending the media briefing are Mrs Tan (left) and Mr Chan (right).