SHKP and Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council join hands to develop United Court（同心村）, a large-scale transitional housing project
Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council (the Welfare Council) announced today their cooperation in developing a large-scale transitional social housing project, United Court in Tung Tau, Yuen Long. The project is conveniently located with minibus and bus routes nearby, while taking only 10 minutes to walk to West Rail Line’s Yuen Long Station or Long Ping Station. Upon expected completion in early 2022, it will provide a comfortable home for 1,600 underprivileged families and ultimately benefit 5,000 families. United Court will provide opportunities for residents to engage with the surrounding community, mutually benefitting one another, making it a distinctive transitional housing project in Hong Kong.
Apart from United Court, SHKP also announced that it will develop transitional housing at two other sites, respectively in Kam Tin South and Kwu Tung town centre. The three projects will span close to 400,000 square feet and provide 2,000 transitional flats in total, benefitting over 6,000 families and giving more than 20,000 people a comfortable home.
The 300,000-square-foot United Court is located on Yuen Long Kau Hui Road near Shan Pui Tsuen. Apart from lending the lot for a minimum of eight years, SHKP will work on preliminary project planning and basic site formation, and provide property management consultancy upon completion. The Welfare Council will be responsible for project planning, construction, operation and management, and for providing residents with a variety of people-oriented community services.
Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Welfare Council Vice-Chairman Michael Lai said, “The Welfare Council is glad to announce at the start of the year the collaboration with SHKP to develop this very meaningful transitional housing project, United Court, to help address the overcrowding living conditions of 1,600 underprivileged families. We estimate that up to 5,000 families will eventually benefit as they move in to United Court before being allocated public housing.”
Mr Lai added that United Court would feature people-oriented, engaging and harmonious community design, planning and facilities, including social enterprise stores and weekend markets, providing residents with diverse community engagement opportunities. The Welfare Council will introduce a first-of-its-kind Well-Being Index that would promote healthy living habits, positive energy and confidence among residents. The Welfare Council will also provide residents with services based on their physical, mental and spiritual health, in the hope of developing a systematic service operation model unique to community housing.
Sun Hung Kai Properties Executive Director Adam Kwok said, “SHKP understands the keen demand for housing in Hong Kong. We have therefore leveraged our resources to help improve the living conditions of underprivileged families. Earlier, SHKP had lent some village house flats in Tuen Mun to Yan Oi Tong via The Hong Kong Council of Social Service to develop into Green Garden, a transitional social housing project. The success of Green Garden has given us the confidence to take on a larger-scale transitional housing project.”
He continued, “Adhering to our spirit of Building Homes with Heart, we believe the United Court development will become a role model for transitional social housing projects. We hope it will bring much warmth to families in need via this transit residence that can help them prepare for a better future.”
Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan said, “Through the concerted efforts of many sectors of the society, the announced transitional housing projects, including the 8,000 flats announced earlier and the 2,000 flats announced today, have together achieved our goal of building about 10,000 transitional housing flats in the coming three years.”
He expressed his gratitude to the organizations and companies involved for their support of, and contribution to, transitional housing, and said he hoped the community would continue to support such efforts to provide enhanced living opportunities for people in need. He said that having a comfortable home and a good job is the key to social stability and that the government would continue to look for sites to develop housing to provide a long-term solution to Hong Kong’s housing shortage.
Five unique features of United Court:
i. Convenient location, comprehensive facilities, neat site and short completion time
It takes only 10 minutes to walk from the conveniently located United Court to West Rail Line Yuen Long Station or Long Ping Station. The location is also well connected by bus and minibus routes. Comprehensive community facilities near the project include grocery markets, large-scale shopping malls, secondary schools, primary schools, kindergartens, and cultural and sports amenities.
The site has a proper rectangular shape and does not require government involvement in building large-scale infrastructure, such as roads. It is estimated that construction can be completed by the end of next year, while the project will be ready for move-in by early 2022.
ii. Spacious, people-oriented design
The Welfare Council will provide people-oriented design, services and activities. It will make good use of public spaces to offer leisure, recreational, sports and children’s facilities, including a 10-metre-wide central promenade, so that residents can exercise and develop healthy habits. United Court will also provide diverse participation and engagement opportunities for residents.
iii. Markets and social inclusion
United Court is all about social inclusion. Weekend flea markets will be held on a regular basis. The Welfare Council will introduce social enterprise stores, a community kitchen, shops selling daily necessities, barter trade shops, and so forth. These initiatives will not only provide bargain options for residents, but also enhance their interaction with surrounding community for mutual benefit, and to establish a harmonious and inclusive neighbourhood.
iv. Well-Being Index for physical and mental health
The Welfare Council has over 50 years of experience serving the residents of Yuen Long and would introduce a first-of-its-kind Well-Being Index for United Court, which will assess the physical, mental and spiritual health of residents before they move in, during their residency, and before they move out for big data analysis and the data will facilitate their provision of services.
v. Improved work competitiveness and employment assistance
SHKP and the Welfare Council will provide residents with appropriate vocational training, and SHKP will leverage its experience in developing the district. SHKP now manages over 70 residential and shopping projects in Yuen Long, Tin Shui Wai and Tuen Mun, with about 3,000 property management staff. In the coming three to four years, about 400 new staff will be hired. Eighty percent of them are frontline roles. The Group also has several development sites, which require a lot of construction workers. SHKP is happy to consider giving priority to the residents to fill the job vacancies, if they are willing and the right fit can be found.
SHKP was one of the first property developers to develop in Yuen Long and has steeped experience in the district for over 30 years. The Welfare Council has provided different community services for the district in Yuen Long for more than 50 years and has a deep understanding of the community and a comprehensive service network. SHKP started collaborating with the Welfare Council in Yuen Long in 2016. SHKP donated a site located near Yuen Long Station to the Welfare Council to develop Hong Kong’s first cross-generation integrated social service facility, which provides for a special-need child care centre, a youth hostel, an elderly home and other amenities.
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