About Urban Renewal Fund
Hong Kong’s building stock is ageing rapidly. There are at present about 4,000 buildings aged 50 years or above in Hong Kong. The number will increase by 500 a year over the next decade. Despite efforts of the Government, dedicated agencies like the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS), Owners’ Corporations and relevant professional bodies, the conditions of Hong Kong’s old buildings remain unsatisfactory, posing threats to public safety.
Under this circumstance, the new Urban Renewal Strategy (URS) has been published on 24 February, 2011 based on a broad consensus reached during an extensive two-year public consultation exercise conducted by the Development Bureau Urban Renewal Strategy Review to introduce a people first, district-based and public participatory approach to urban renewal. One of its major highlights of the Strategy is to establish the Urban Renewal Trust Fund (the Trust Fund) which was first announced by the Chief Executive in his Policy Address in October 2010.
The Urban Renewal Fund (URF) was then established as an independent organization by guarantee incorporated on August 15, 2011 to act as the trustee and settlor of the Trust Fund. From November 10, 2011, the Trust Fund is also entitled to exemption under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112) and is, therefore, exempt from all taxes payable under the Ordinance.
With HK$500 million endowed by the Urban Renewal Authority, the Urban Renewal Fund endeavours to provide an independent funding source to support the operation of social service teams to provide assistance for residents affected by urban redevelopment projects implemented by the URA, to support social impact assessments and other related planning studies to be proposed by the District Urban Renewal Forum and to support heritage preservation and district revitalisation projects to be proposed by non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders in the overall context of urban renewal.