HK Housing Authority to spend $42.4 mln to enhance accessibility

08:02, December 20, 2010      

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Hong Kong's Housing Authority will carry out works at a total cost of about 330 million HK dollars (42.4 million U.S. dollars) to improve accessibility in old public housing estates, to meet requirements laid down in Design Manual: Barrier Free Access 2008, the Housing Authority said Sunday in a statement.

While all new authority buildings have adopted the relevant design requirements in the manual since its introduction, older ones are not fully compliant, it said.

Although the manual has no retrospective effect, as a caring landlord, the Housing Authority said it had conducted an assessment in July this year of all properties under its management.

It identified a number of major improvement works, most of which are to be completed by mid-2012, to fulfill the manual's requirements. The rest are expected to be completed by 2014.

These works include making lifts more accessible, including enhancing lift doors, control buttons, illuminated visual indicators, audible signals and indication in lift cars. Works also include providing tactile warning strips at landings and at both ends of staircases, and handrails of a required dimension and shape. Channels and gratings will also have appropriate covers.

Separately, the authority has set up another program to install lifts for low-rise public housing blocks that do not have them, to address the concerns of the disabled. This is scheduled to be completed by 2012.

The authority will also carry out ongoing tailor-made improvement works on a needs basis. These include in-flat modifications, such as the widening of toilet and kitchen doors and the addition of temporary ramps at flat entrances.

Source: Xinhua
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