Message from Chairperson

In August 2017, the Secretary for Development made nominations to re-appoint and appoint 15 directors to the Board of the Urban Renewal Fund (URF). It was a great honor of me to have been appointed as Chairman of the Board of the URF. I sincerely thank our former and current Directors for their active participation and contributions to the work of the URF.

The URF has been established for 7 years as an independent organization by guarantee incorporated since August 2011. There have been significant achievements of the URF in the past years under the leadership of the former Chairman, Professor Joe Leung, by a “people-first, district-based and public participatory” philosophy. To this I am very grateful.

Four non-governmental organizations have been appointed by the URF to operate the social services teams (SSTs) to provide assistance and counselling services to the residents affected by redevelopment projects implemented by the Urban Renewal Authority (URA).

In line with our commitment to support heritage preservation and district revitalisation initiatives in the urban renewal context, in 2016, the URF decided to provide funding to the project on the development of the Themed Walking Trail and invited proposals from interested organizations to carry out the project. After detailed consideration and selection, last year, the URF appointed the HKSKH Welfare Council Limited to implement the 6-year project of the Development of the Kowloon City Themed Walking Trail with a funding amount of HK$79 million. The project was commenced in January 2018.

In the past 5 years, the URF provided funding support to 13 projects, with total funding amount of around HK$43 million. The application of the Fourth Round was closed in April this year and we received a lot of outstanding and innovative project proposals. The Board of Directors would not only focus on the feasibility and sustainability of the projects, but also emphasize on their potential to enhance the local characters of the districts and improve people’s quality of life, sense of belonging and cohesion when considering the applications. In the coming year, to match with the development directions of the URF, we will proactively identify and formulate themes and project ideas for the Funding Scheme, and invite proposals and implementers from the community. We will also consolidate the URF’s experience and effectiveness in urban renewal and to showcase to relevant organizations and the public to facilitate mutual exchanges.

Lastly, with great enthusiasm, together with all the Directors of the Board of the URF, we look forward to working together with NGOs, professional bodies and various key stakeholders on future projects, and ultimately to improve the quality of life of people in old urban areas.

Professor Steven Ngai Sek-yum
Chairman, Urban Renewal Fund
November 2018