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Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme

Application for the owners’ organisation was closed on 31 Oct 2018

The Chief Executive announced in the “2017 Policy Address” that the Government plans to devote HK$2 billion and partner with the Urban Renewal Authority (“URA”) to implement the “Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme” (“FSW Scheme”) to subsidise owners of old composite buildings to undertake fire safety enhancement measures as required by the Ordinance.


Eligibility Criteria 
A building participating in the FSW Scheme must meet the following criteria: 

1.  The building is not under single ownership and is a composite building (commercial and residential) under the Ordinance; and

2. Annual rateable value for the residential flat should not exceed HK$162,000 in urban areas (including Shatin, Kwai Tsing, Tsuen Wan); while not exceed HK$124,000 in other areas ; and

3. The building owners have received Directions for the common parts of the building and / or its related Fire Safety Compliance Order issued by FSD and BD, but compliance letters confirming the completion of all fire safety improvement works required by the Ordinance had not been issued as of 11 October 2017.

 

Owner's organisations and Applicant's Representatives

- If an owners’ corporation (OC) has been formed, the OC should be the Applicant submitting the application to the URA.

- For building without an OC (including those held by CBS), all owners collectively or CBS (if appropriate) should be the Applicant submitting the application to the URA. Please refer to the “Application Notes for building without Owners’ Corporation” in Annex I of the IBRAS Application Form for the application requirements and details.

The completed Application Form and necessary supporting documents must be returned to URA on or before 31 October 2018.



Special arrangement for facilitating owners to form Owner’s Corporation (OC) to apply for the FSW Scheme 

1. In order to facilitate the building without an Owner’s Corporation (OC) but the owners will form the OC shortly to apply for the “Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme” (“FSW Scheme”) URA has the following special arrangements:

2. The owners should in accordance with the provisions of the “Building Management Ordinance (Cap. 344)” to convene a general meeting for resolution of OC formation and to reach a general agreement in applying for  FSWS and to nominate at least 2 Owner’s Representatives to submit the application. 

3. The Owner’s Representatives should submit the application within the application period (i.e. on or before 31 October 2018) and to provide the relevant document, i.e. minutes of the owners general meeting or undertaking by the owners… etc, as a proof for OC formation is actively in progress. 

Other required documents, including the certificate of registration of Owners’ Corporation issued by Land Registry and the minutes of the subsequent owners general meeting for valid resolutions of joining the FSWS and other related issues1, should be submitted within 6 months after the closing of the application (i.e. on or before 30 April 2019). Otherwise, the application submitted by the Owner’s Representatives is deemed to have been withdrawn.

(1)  Please refer to paragraph 3.3(iv) of FSWS application notes 

Use of Subsidy
The subsidy is only applicable to works carried out at the common parts of the building required for complying with the Directions and/or its related Fire Safety Compliance Order, which include:
A             Provision or improvement of the following fire service installations and equipment:
(i)            Automatic sprinkler system;
(ii)           Fire hydrant and hose reel system;
(iii)          Manual fire alarm system;
(iv)          Emergency lighting;
(v)           Automatic cut-off device for mechanical ventilating system; and
(vi)          Other alternative fire service installations and equipment/measures approved by FSD
 
B             Improvement of fire safety construction measures:
(i)            Protection of exit routes and staircases with fire resisting construction;
(ii)           Improvement of the exit to a street;
(iii)          Provision or replacement of fire doors;
(iv)          Improvement of staircase width;
(v)           Provision of additional staircases;
(vi)          Enhancement of existing lifts to become fireman’s lifts;
(vii)         Provision of fireman’s lifts;
(viii)        Improvement of the resistance of external walls and the protection of openings therein;
(ix)          Provision of fire resisting construction separating different parts of the building;
(x)           Provision of fire resisting enclosures to non-emergency services within the staircases; and
(xi)          Provision of smoke vents to basements.
 
The necessary professional services (e.g. appointment of consultant) and any associated or follow-up works arising from the works mentioned above may also be subsidised. All works must comply with the legal requirements and be carried out by qualified registered contractors.

Target Beneficiaries and Level of Subsidy

The Applicant may receive subsidy up to 60% of the cost of the fire safety improvement works and the consultancy fees, or the corresponding cap imposed on the relevant category of buildings (see the table below), whichever is less.
 
Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme – Maximum Subsidy Amount

 

Number of Storeys Maximum Amount (HKD)
1 – 3 230,000
4 – 6   470,000
7 – 12 790,000
13 or more 1,260,000

As regards those buildings with qualified registered contractors already engaged for the fire safety improvement works before the application period of the FSW Scheme, the independent consultant appointed by URA will assess the relevant documents provided by the Applicant (such as tender documents, works contracts and works progress reports) to determine the level of subsidy, which in any case will not exceed 60% of cost of works and consultancy fees, or the corresponding cap applicable to the relevant category of buildings (whichever is less).

 

Background Notes for the Proposed Two Stages Design Approach

 

There are difficulties encountered and expressed unsatisfactorily by different stakeholders (including owners and fire services contractors) in the existing practice of adopting design and build arrangement in the tendering for fire services works for composite buildings (“existing design & build practice”).
In order to overcome the short-comings of the “exiting design and build practice”, it would be desirable to have a consultant sorting out the fundamental design issues with the relevant authorities prior to the tendering for the fire services works. Hence, it is considered that the idea of the “build only arrangement” (i.e., arrangement of tendering for the fire services contractor after the design of the same has been completed and obtained the approval of the proposed fire services works from the relevant authorities) would be feasible. 
Alternatively, URA together with FSD/BD have developed a new approach instead of the “building only arrangement”.   The consultant appointed by the building owners will follow the “two stages design approach” to FSD/BD for seeking the initial views from those authorities prior to preparation of the tender documents for procurement of the fire services contractor.
Under the requirements of FSWS, unless with the approval of the Implementation Committee over-looking the implementation of the scheme, the services of the consultant appointed by the building owners joining the scheme shall have to prepare the initial design parameters of the proposed fire services improvements works (i.e. “two stages design approach”) or to complete the design of the proposed improvement works and sort out the design issues with authorities (i.e. ”build only arrangement”) before the tendering of the work contracts.
The required submission of initial design parameters under FSWS has been prepared for applicants who join the FSWS to follow.  Please click the following headings to get the document.


Initial Design Parameters under Fire Safety Improvement Works Subsidy Scheme    

Other Subsidies
If the building has received the statutory notice or pre-notification letter of mandatory building inspection issued by BD and the building meets the eligibility criteria of “Operation Building Bright 2.0” (“OBB 2.0”), the Applicant may also apply for subsidy under OBB 2.0 to cover those works related to the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme. However, the relevant work items shall not duplicate with those approved under FSW Scheme or any other past or existing subsidy schemes administered by different institutions or departments. Please refer to “AN-OBB2.0(Bldg)” for details.