Building Drainage System Repair Subsidy Scheme
In response to the rising public concerns on defective drains amid the COVID-19 pandemic and since defective drains and drains not properly sanitised will affect occupants’ health and environmental hygiene, the Financial Secretary announced in the “2021-2022 Budget” on 24 February 2021 that the government would reserve HK$1 billion and partner with the Urban Renewal Authority (“URA”) to implement the “Building Drainage System Repair Subsidy Scheme” (this Scheme) to provide technical and financial support to owners of aged private residential or composite buildings with a relatively low average annual rateable value and to assist them to conduct investigation, repair, rectification and/or improvement works for drains of the buildings. This Scheme is currently accepting applications.
There are two categories of buildings applicable under this Scheme:
Category 1 covers buildings whose owners or owners’ organisations are prepared and capable to organise relevant investigation and repair works for the common drainage systems of their buildings by themselves.
If the building owners or owners’ organisations consider their buildings meeting the “Eligibility Criteria” (please refer to Paragraph 1 of this Application Notes), they may submit applications in accordance with the “Submission of Application Form and Supporting Documents” (please refer to the Paragraph 2 of Application Notes) to the URA for their buildings to be included as Category 1 buildings.
Category 2 covers buildings that have received drainage orders for their common drainage systems while the owners concerned have not been able to unite to organise the works prescribed in the relevant orders. The Buildings Department will select buildings based on risk assessment and exercise its statutory power to appoint work consultants and government contractors to carry out the required works on behalf of the owners.
Application Notes (For Category 1 Buildings Only)*
A building applying for this Scheme must meet all of the following criteria:
1. The building is a residential building (including a building held by a Civil Servants’ Cooperative Building Society (“CBS”)) or private composite (commercial & residential) building regulated by the Buildings Ordinance aged 40 or above according to the Occupation Permit;
2. The 2017/18 average annual rateable value of the residential units in the building shall not go beyond the specified limit of this Scheme. Please refer to the limit stated at the item 2(b) of Appendix I to the “Integrated Building Rehabilitation Assistance Scheme” (“IBRAS”) for details; and
3. The works for the common drains of the building have not been carried out in accordance with the Buildings Ordinance (Cap. 123) and its subsidiary legislations, or the works have been carried out but until 24 February 2021, the Building Department has not issued a letter to certify the receipt of a completion certificate of the works.
*The first phase of the scheme application (i.e. from May 2021 to 31 August 2021) targets buildings with outstanding statutory orders relating to common drains
Owner's organisation and Applicat's Representatives
- For building with owners’ corporation (OC), the OC shall be the Applicant who submit the application to the URA.
- For buildings without an OC or those held by CBS, all owners collectively or the CBS (as the case may be) shall be the Applicant who submit the application to URA. Please read the “Application Notes for building without Owners’ Corporation” in Annex I to the IBRAS Application Form for the application requirements and details
Scope of Works Covered in This Scheme
Subsidies must be provided for the repair and rectification works of the common drains of buildings, while all the works must meet the requirements of relevant legislations and be conducted by qualified registered contractors. The works covered in this Scheme include:
1. The repair or rectification works of the common drains of buildings
(a) The repair or replacement of damaged public sewers, waste water pipes, rainwater pipes, ventilation pipes, anti-syphonage pipes and/or underground drainage pipes; and
(b) The rectification of the misconnected common drainage systems, for example, a sewer that is misconnected to a rainwater drainage system.
2. The repair or replacement of the damaged branch pipes which are connected to the common drainage system of a building and near to the common drains on which works needed to be conducted but not inside an individual unit
(a) The branches of sewers, waste water pipes and/or rainwater pipes;
(b) Traps or adding traps; and
(c) The branches of anti-syphonage pipes, or adding the branches of anti-syphonage pipes.
3. The improvement works for the common drainage systems of buildings conducted according to the practice notes issued by the Buildings Department between April 2021 to May 2021.
4. The cost of the investigation and relevant works (for example, setting up scaffoldings) of the works mentioned above may be subsidised.
The subsidy caps will be set depending on the number of residential units in the building and the subsidy can be up to 80% of the cost of the relevant drainage system works (see the table below):
|No. of residential units in a building (Unit)||Subsidy cap per building (HK$)|
|20 and below||120,000|
|201 or above||1,000,000|
- If a building is eligible for the “Common Area Repair Works Subsidy” (“CAS”) and/or the “Operation Building Bright 2.0” (“OBB2.0”), the Applicant may make the applications simultaneously. In other words, obtaining subsidies under the DRS would not bar the beneficiaries from applying for subsidies under other schemes while expenditure of the same works would not be doubly subsidised.
- If individual owner occupiers who are eligible to this Scheme still have financial difficulties, they may apply for subsidies under the Building Maintenance Grant Scheme for Needy Owners (“BMGSNO”), provided that the total amount of the subsidies they are granted under this Scheme and the BMGSNO cannot exceed the actual expenditures of the relevant works. Please refer to the Application Notes of the BMGSNO for details.
- To encourage the formation of OCs by building owners for carrying out building repair works, any Applicant who is granted the Approval-in-Principle Letter of this Scheme with a Certificate of Registration of its OC issued within the 12 months prior to the submission of an Application Form shall be granted a subsidy of HK$3,000 under the Owners’ Corporation Formation Subsidy.