Hong Kong: going green will weigh on fees at new-look HOS flats

Owners of new Home Ownership Scheme flats may have to pay more in management fees because of new and green designs.

According to Sing Tao Daily, the sister newspaper of The Standard, the Housing Department suggests that a rainwater collecting system and solar panels for generating electricity be installed in new flats.

For the system of rainwater collecting alone, an extra HK$800,000 a year for each building will be necessary for management and repair.

A source said the Housing Department will share the huge sum with flat owners but not put the burden on their shoulders completely.

For public rental housing, the department shoulders management fees but this will not happen for HOS flats as the fees would be high, a source said.

The department believes the new HOS flats will be sold out as soon as they start to be available on the market in five years at the earliest.

“By installing these new systems, more flats can be built in every single block,” the source added. The director of the Hong Kong Green Building Council, Wong Kam-sing, welcomed the move.

“Although the extra budget is essential for installing, managing and repairing the new systems, it is still worth doing because owners can definitely save money when they are in operation,” Wong said.

Wong also said the Housing Department is making good use of land by introducing environmentally friendly systems, and that is a “win- win” situation, meeting the urgent need for housing and reducing pollution.

Several members of the Housing Authority urged the department to ensure the management fee will not be increased by more than 5 percent. Otherwise, they will reject the installation of the new system.

The new HOS flats will be on sale five years from now and the new installation is designed by the Housing Department.

The flats in the first stage will be built by the Housing Authority. Their design will be similar to the traditional public rental flats, with 400 square feet and two bedrooms.

Source : The Standard

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