One of Hong Kong's most famous and photogenic housing estates is to be redeveloped, sources told RTHK on Monday.
Choi Hung Estate, with its 11 blocks and around 17,500 residents, was built more than 60 years ago. It's a tourist hotspot, with visitors taking photos of the basketball court there with rainbow-coloured flats in the background.
The Executive Director of the Federation of Public Housing Estates, Anthony Chiu, said the redevelopment will allow more flats to be added to the site, given that the height of the current buildings was restricted because the old Kai Tak Airport was nearby.
Chiu said he expects the project to be divided into two to three phases, adding that housing projects on Wang Chiu Road and Mei Tung Estate could be used to rehouse the residents affected by the work.
Roundtable lawmaker Michael Tien said the government should be very cautious when rehousing residents of the estate.
"They don't want to go too far away," he said. "Because people are rooted there, where they work, where they go to school... If they move [the residents] all over Hong Kong, there's going to be a problem," he said.
One resident of the estate said she hopes everyone can be housed in the same area during the redevelopment.
"I have been living here for 30 years... I'm close with many of my neighbours and we may fall apart if we have to move elsewhere," she said.
Another resident told RTHK they understood the need for the redevelopment.
"The estate is too old and everything has deteriorated. The toilets always don't work, and the wood and concrete cracks. I hope the estate can be redeveloped soon," the resident said.
Responding to media enquiries, the Housing Authority said that when deciding whether to redevelop a public housing estate it takes into consideration the structural conditions of buildings, the cost-effectiveness of repair works, the availability of suitable rehousing resources nearby and the build-back potential upon redevelopment.
In last year's Policy Address, Chief Executive John Lee suggested the Housing Authority could select another estate for redevelopment, on top of 10 other ongoing projects.