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Old January 6th, 2011, 11:44 AM   #101
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Old supermarket slated to become low-cost housing
6 January 2011
Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government will convert an abandoned supermarket in Wenshan District into a public rental apartment with 90 units in the first step of its plan to increase the number of affordable housing units throughout the city to 50,000 in the next four years.

Each of the planned public housing units will be about 21 ping (69.4m2) and the rent will be about NT$11,000 (US$377) per month, which is about 80 percent of the average rent in the area, according to the citys Department of Urban Development.

Inspecting the abandoned building yesterday, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin said the city chose the site because of its location in Wanfang Community near MRT Wanfang Community Station and because of the environment of the neighborhood.

We are not building the public housing units for profit, but to ease the burden of Taipei residents by offering affordable housing. We can also increase the usage rate of abandoned city properties, Hau said.

The abandoned supermarket has been vacant since shortly after it was established in 1989 because of a lack of business and the city had failed in six attempts to find a bidder.

Ting Yu-chun, commissioner of the department, said the housing units would cost about NT$200 million to build, adding that construction would be complete by 2015.

Taipei residents under 40 years old and low-income families will be prioritized for the units, but the city government will work out more details before finalizing who will be eligible to rent the units, he said.

The city also plans to rent out 181 public housing units this year that are located near new MRT stations, including Xingtian Temple Station, Xianse (Sianse) Temple Station and Xindian (Sindian) Station. Rents will also be about 80 percent of the average rent in those areas.

Increasing the number of affordable rental housing units was a major policy proposed by Hau last year in an effort to tackle skyrocketing housing prices.

Haus plan to build public housing units on a piece of land owned by the air force in downtown Taipei, however, has met with a lukewarm response by the central government.

Hau also reiterated his administrations determination to promote the plan, saying it would enhance communications with the central government and nearby residents to attract more support for the plan.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 03:10 PM   #102
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Ministry promotes benefits of energy conservation and carbon reduction
A team comprising different government agencies was established last year to offer schools and firms advice on adopting green measures
15 January 2011
Taipei Times

Taipei 101 Mall has reduced its annual carbon emissions by 3,532 tonnes and saved nearly 10 percent on its electricity after adopting green measures, including installing LED lighting.

The mall spent NT$119 million (US$4 million) on electricity bills in 2008. However, after adopting green measures, it shaved 9.6 percent, or about NT$10 million, off its bills, said Sheu Jau-fa, head of the malls engineering operations management.

These green measures include changing the parking lots lights to energy-saving ones, as well as installing LED lighting and infrared sensors to control brightness, he said.

Sheu made the remarks at an activity organized by the Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday to promote the work of its energy conservation and green house gas emissions reduction service team.

The team was formed in May last year as part of the administrations efforts to synergize the resources of various government agencies to provide a one-stop shop for energy conservation matters.

The agencies include the Bureau of Energy, the Industrial Development Bureau, the National Science Council, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of the Interior.

The team has six divisions covering sectors such as educational institutions, small and medium businesses, manufacturers and green constructions, he said.

In the past, various agencies had similar initiatives to encourage energy conservation, but the resources were scattered, said Steven Wu, a section chief at the Bureau of Energy.

With the establishment of the team, it is able to combine these different agencies know-how and better address the needs of the prviate sector, Wu said.

The team has consultants that can conduct on-site inspections if requested by companies, and offer advice and solutions on how to conserve energy and reduce carbon emissions.

The ministry said the team conducted 3,141 on-site inspections last year, and its analysis showed that those projects could reduce carbon emissions by 735,000 tonnes a year.

Taoyuan-based Yuan Ze University has also employed the teams services.

The universitys dean of general affairs, Wei Jung-tzung said, the school was trying hard to reduce its utility bills, which amounted to about NT$60 million a year.

That amount took up half of the annual subsidy from the Ministry of Education, he said.

Yuan Ze decided to install solar systems to heat up water and power electricity for the campus and dormitories, among other measures.

Now it enjoys a savings of about NT$20 million in annual utility bills, Wei said.
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Old January 20th, 2011, 06:20 PM   #103
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Taipei's public housing project opening next year
12 January 2011
Taipei Times

Taipei Citys first public rental housing project will be open to young residents in January next year, offering 110 units in the 11-story building near the Yuanshan MRT Station with a monthly rent of about NT$15,000 per unit.

The apartment complex, located on Chengde Road and a five-minute walk from the MRT station, comprise 80 large units measuring about 24 ping (79.3m2) and 30 smaller units measuring about 12 ping (39.6m2). The monthly rent for each unit will be about 80 percent of the average rent in the area.

Taipei residents under the age of 40, recently married couples who qualify for the citys childbirth subsidy program introduced this year and low-income families will have priority in renting these units, the citys Department of Urban Development said.

On an inspection tour of the construction site yesterday, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin dismissed concerns about the negative impact of the housing project on the overall environment and the housing market in the area.

This housing project is aimed at providing affordable and high-quality housing units for the citys younger generation, and I believe that group [of people] will bring energy and a positive image to the neighborhood, he said.

Hau said the city government would soon publish the criteria for selecting applicants, adding that those selected would be allowed to live there for only up to four years as the units are mainly designed to serve as temporary housing.

The units will be the first completed housing project under the Hau administrations plan to increase the number of affordable housing units throughout the city to 50,000 over the next four years to address skyrocketing real estate prices.

The city government has also selected an abandoned supermarket in Wenshan District to build a 90-unit public rental apartment complex. The city intends to rent out 181 public housing units this year that are located near new MRT stations, including Xingtian Temple Station, Xianse Temple Station and Sindian Station. As with the Yuanshan project, rent will be about 80 percent of the average rent.
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Old January 23rd, 2011, 03:59 AM   #104
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Taipei opens online reservation system for Chiang mansion
Taipei Times
By Mo Yan-chih / Staff reporter
2011-01-22

Visitors to the Shilin Residence in Taipei will be able to make an online reservations next month as the Taipei City Government seeks to prevent the long lines that have formed since the mansion was opened to the public on Jan. 2.

The mansion, which served as late dictator Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) last residence, became a popular attraction in the city when it was opened to the public and advance tickets are often sold out within an hour of the doors opening at 9:30am, drawing complaints from many who are unable to get in.

Taipei City’s Department of Cultural Affairs said the online reservation mechanism aimed to make it more convenient for foreign visitors and Taiwanese who are traveling a long way to visit the residence.

Michael Teng (鄧文宗), a division chief at the department, said those wishing to visit the mansion next month can make a reservation starting at 10am today on the department’s Web site at www.culture.gov.tw. Visitors can also still go and wait in line at the mansion.

The department has also increased the maximum number of daily visitors allowed from 860 to 990.

The two-story mansion was where Chiang and his wife, Soong Mei-ling (宋美齡), resided for more than 25 years from 1950 to 1975 before his death on April 5 of that year.

The picturesque estate situated in Shilin District (士林) is considered the core of the site known as the Shilin Official Residence.

The surrounding garden and tree-lined roads have been a popular tourist destination since 1996, but the mansion was off-limits until earlier this month when the city government completed a NT$116 million (US$3.86 million) restoration project that began in 2008.

The mansion is open from 9:30am to 11:40am and from 1:30pm to 4:30pm from Tuesday to Sunday. The mansion will be closed from Feb. 1 to Feb. 6 for the Lunar New Year holidays.

For more information, call (02) 2883-6340.
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Old January 24th, 2011, 02:48 PM   #105
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FSC mulls tighter assets, risk controls for insurers
22 January 2011
Taipei Times

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) said yesterday it was mulling tightening risk control and asset management measures governing insurance firms in a bid to prevent land hoarding.

The announcement came after a meeting with academics and industry representatives amid growing concerns that land hoarding by insurance companies may have contributed to soaring property prices.

It is time the commission revisit risk controls and asset allocation rules to better reflect changes in the macro-environment in the past two years, it said.

While the commission did not specify what measures it plans to take, the Chinese-language United Evening News reported yesterday that it was mulling raising the risk-based capital ratio from the current 200 percent, as well as the rate of return on real estate investment to 2.2 percent, from 1.2 percent now.

Two years have passed since the commission introduced the principle of prompt and profitable utilization to govern real estate investment by insurance firms, the commission said at the meeting.

The principle, which refers to a requirement that insurers should develop land that they have purchased and ensure reasonable returns, was introduced in 2009 to help stem land speculation.

The report said the commission was now considering requiring that land acquisitions should come with development permits showing that construction would start within three months.

Insurers should apply for development permits six months after acquiring land that do not have building permits yet, it said.

Insurance officials at the commission were not available to comment on the report.

The commission held a separate discussion with domestic lenders to seek their views on cross-strait banking deregulation.

Local banks have been pressing the commission to ease lending limits for their branches in China, as well as lowering requirements to conduct yuan operations.

FSC officials are scheduled to meet their Chinese counterparts in March for talks on these and other issues, in line with the Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (ECFA) signed in June last year.
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Old January 27th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #106
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Greater Taipei property market stays hot
27 January 2011
Taipei Times

The property market has shown no signs of slowing despite a slew of cooling measures by the central bank, as outstanding loans for home purchases last month rose for the 14th straight month to a record NT$5.165 trillion (US$176.3 billion).

Loans to construction companies also expanded for the 11th straight month to a decade-high of NT$1.288 trillion last month, central bank data showed.

The increases came despite the central banks move to raise its key interest rates last month by 0.125 percentage points its third increase last year and continued targeted credit tightening and stricter measures on mortgages to cool down the housing market in the Greater Taipei region.

To help curb speculative investment in the property market, the Ministry of Finance said yesterday in a statement that the ministry and the Ministry of the Interior had agreed to let local governments reinstate a tax on idle land, effective immediately.

Local governments can now reimpose the idle land tax, which was suspended in 1985 and is about two to five times the land value tax, to help curb land hoarding and keep property prices in check.

Moreover, local governments can also buy idle land from private developers or owners based on the so-called publicly announced land values set by local governments, the ministry said.
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Old February 2nd, 2011, 06:04 PM   #107
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New measures to curb land hoarding by insurance firms
2 February 2011
Taipei Times

The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC) yesterday approved measures to tighten risk control and asset management requirements governing land purchases by insurance firms in a bid to curb land hoarding.

The measures, to take effect in the next few days, marked the latest of a series of government moves to rein in property speculation that has made housing prices unaffordable, especially in Taipei City and New Taipei City.

It is time the commission raise management and profitability requirements regarding real estate investment by insurance companies to reflect changes in the macro-environment over the last two years, the commission said.

Under the new measures, turning idle plots of land into parking lots or erecting advertisement billboards on them will not meet the principle of prompt and profitable utilization adopted in March 2009 to govern land purchases by insurance firms, the commission said.

All real estate investments by insurance firms must yield returns equal to two-year interest rates on postal savings deposits plus 50 basis points, the commission said.

The financial regulator also increased risk factors on real estate investments by 30 percent when vacant land purchases are involved.

The risk gauge will go up an extra 30 percent each time insurance firms fail to begin land development as scheduled, the commission said, adding that the companies must obtain approval for delayed construction. The restriction will affect insurance firms calculation of risk-based capital ratio.

The commission will also require insurance firms to file reports within a designated period of time for existing land plots that fail to meet the new changes.

The new rules come after the Ministry of Finance last month reinstated fines on idle and underused plots of land. Many have pinned the blame of rising home prices on land hoarding by financial firms amid high liquidity and low capital costs.
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Old February 6th, 2011, 07:59 AM   #108
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FEATURE: Families call for fairer urban renewal law
By Loa Iok-sin / Staff Reporter
Thu, Feb 03, 2011
Taipei Times

The Lunar New Year is a time when families get together and go on family trips. However, some families will be staying home throughout the holidays — not to celebrate, but out of fear that their home might be torn down if they leave.

“We always leave at least one person at home because we’re afraid our house might be demolished if we all leave at once,” Peng Lung-san (彭龍三), owner of a small motorcycle repair shop near the intersection of Songshan Road and Zhongxiao E Road in Taipei, told the Taipei Times last week.

Peng’s shop is located on the ground floor of one of the few remaining decades-old apartment complexes in the area, surrounded by high-rise luxury apartments, office buildings, hotels and department stores.

The old apartment complex has become a target of urban-renewal developers.

The deal sounded tempting at first: The developer would tear down the more than 30-year-old buildings and turn them into nice, modern apartments. Each of the original households would be entitled to a unit in the new apartment, with an elevated value.

The Urban Renewal Act (都市更新條例) stipulates that developers must provide a copy of the project to be read and signed by residents, hire at least three certified real-estate appraisers to assess their current value and estimate their future — after reconstruction — value, then have residents sign an agreement to allow developers to begin the project.

However, developers often staple the two documents together, giving people the impression that they are two copies of the same document, said Peng, who founded the Taiwan Association for Justice in Urban Renewal to unite “victims” of what he calls unjust urban renewal projects.

Peng discovered something was amiss when the process started.

FALLING VALUE

“In February 2005, real-estate appraisers estimated the value of my place at about NT$420,000 per ping [3.3m2] and that the value would go up to NT$600,000 per ping after reconstruction,” Peng said. “However, when I bought the place in 1995, it cost me NT$800,000 per ping. How can the value go down when the area is rapidly developing and real-estate prices are skyrocketing?”

Peng turned down the offer, but it was no use, as most of his neighbors had agreed.

According to the law, urban renewal projects must have the approval of the owners of three-quarters of the total number of units or surface area.

Alternatively, the plan may be considered approved if one person who owns seven units in an apartment building agrees to the project even if the other three — each owning one unit — oppose it.

Peng is also upset about the fact that after the renewal project is completed, he would be getting back a unit that is slightly smaller than his current one.

“Basically, the developer calculates the total value of the property based on the estimated price, deducts the cost of reconstruction and allocates a housing unit based on post-renewal real estate value,” he said.

Hence, for the 17 ping unit Peng has now, he would get a 15.6 ping unit in return.

Despite the many questions that Peng and a handful of other residents still have, the project was approved and a demolition permit for the complex issued by the Taipei City Government.

With the demolition permit, the developer can demolish the complex any time and ask for government assistance to remove residents who refuse to leave — by force if necessary.

“This is not fair,” Peng said, questioning how one “cannot disagree with [the renewal project] once the majority of property owners have agreed.”

“What kind of law is that? I thought the Constitution protects every citizen’s right to property,” he said.

During the interview, a woman surnamed Huang (黃) walked into the shop, asking: “What happened? What was that noise? Did anyone hear that?”

It was only some trucks passing by, people in the shop told her.

Huang, her husband and two children have lived in the apartment building next to Peng’s for 30 years.

Just like Peng, her apartment unit has been included in a renewal project. Since most of Huang’s neighbors have agreed to the project, Huang’s apartment is the only building left of what used to be a line of connected apartments facing Zhongxiao E Road after a first-phase demolition that took place in October.

“I live in constant fear that the demolition squad will come to take down my house. Every time I hear noises that sound like a demolition machine, I come out to check,” she said.

The first time she was contacted by developers about urban renewal, Huang said: “I was quite happy at the time, actually.”

“We’ve been living in the apartment for 30 years. It’s very old. Who wouldn’t want to live in a new apartment?” she said. “However, renewal should be done in a fairer manner.”

Huang Li-ling (黃麗玲), an assistant professor at National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Building and Planning, said that the increasing number of protests by residents opposing such projects has exposed the contradictions in the law governing urban renewal.

“The law clearly states that urban renewal should promote public interests and convenience, but in reality, it’s the developers who gain the most,” she said in a telephone interview.

“The law provides incentives for developers to create facilities to enhance public interests, but it’s not mandatory,” she said.

For instance, in South Korea, developers working on urban renewal are required to set aside 10 percent of the newly constructed space for social housing, she said.

“However, there’s no such requirement in Taiwan,” Huang Li-ling said.

While the law provides incentives for urban renewal developers that create green spaces, such as public parks, these parks usually end up being closed to the public after the projects are completed and developers have received the incentives.

“There’s no law prohibiting developers from doing so,” she said.

Hsu Shih-jung (徐世榮), chair of National Chengchi University’s Department of Land Economics, said that according to the act, the three main objectives of urban renewal are renovation, reconstruction and maintenance.

“However, we’ve only seen renovation and reconstruction,” Hsu said.

For example, a proposal for urban renewal for an area close to the main campus of National Taiwan University has developers considering flattening dozens of Japanese-style houses built during the colonial era as residence for faculty members, Hsu said.

HISTORICAL VALUE

“However, those houses were beautifully constructed and are historically significant,” he said. “According to the ‘maintenance’ part of the law, why can’t we just keep these houses and keep them well-maintained?”

As the objective of urban renewal is to benefit the public, Hsu called for increased participation by local residents in drawing up urban renewal plans — and in a language that people can understand since the law is considerably complicated — to avoid further disputes.

Hsu also pointed to the problem of urban renewal projects using government-owned land.

He said residents protest when the market value of their property is underestimated, but “no one protests when government-owned land is sold to developers at below-market value.”

“These properties belong to everyone in the country. How can we allow this to happen?” he asked.

Published on Taipei Times :
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiw.../03/2003495099
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Old February 9th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #109
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Dalong renovation almost finished
Taipei Times
By Mo Yan-chih
Wed, Feb 09, 2011

The renovation of a 100-year-old elementary school in Taipei is expected to be completed by the end of this year after the construction was temporarily shut down amid concerns over the conservation of artifacts dating from 4,500 years ago that were discovered at the school.

The Taipei Dalong Elementary School renovation project was part of a plan to establish the Datong Culture Park in Datong District (大同), which will bring together Baoan Temple, Dalong Elementary School and the Confucian Temple into one cultural park.

The Taipei City Government budgeted more than NT$800 million (US$ 27.7 million) for the renovations in 2005, but called for an immediate halt to the construction in 2007 when an archeologist dug out some broken pottery pieces that dated from the Hsuntangpu Culture (訊塘埔文化), a prehistoric people who lived in Taiwan in the mid-Neolithic period about 4,500 years ago.

It is the second-oldest culture whose archeological remnants have been found in Taipei, after the Tapenkeng Culture (大坌坑文化), which dates back about 5,000 years.

The city government resumed the construction last year after the city’s Department of Cultural Affairs completed the preservation of the artifacts.

Inspecting the construction site yesterday, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday defended the city government’s efforts to preserve historical remains, and promised to offer a safer and better environment for students at the school after the renovation project was completed.

According to school principal Chen Chin-yi (陳清義), more than 800 students will move into the renovated buildings after winter break next year. About 200 students from nearby Minglun Elementary School will also move into the new buildings after the two schools merge next year.

The historical remains were sent to Tainan for final authentication. Chen said the school plans to put the remains in an old classroom and turn it into an exhibition room for educational purposes.

Other prehistoric archeological sites in Taipei are from the Chihshanyen Culture (芝山岩文化) and Yuanshan Culture (圓山文化) from the late Neolithic period.

The cultural department said prehistoric residents of the Taipei basin had lived in Dalongdong and had later moved to the Chihshanyen and Yuanshan sites.
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Old February 13th, 2011, 04:52 PM   #110
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CPA to roll out home purchase subsidies for young homebuyers
10 February 2011
The China Post

TAIPEI, Taiwan — The Construction and Planning Agency (CPA) will again launch a subsidy program for young homebuyers, it said yesterday.

Applications for the subsidies will begin on Mar. 1, and they will be given to the first 20,000 applicants.

The program is open to the following: married people between 20 and 40 without homes, whose family income is below the 80th percentile.

They can get a maximum loan of up to NT$2 million at zero interest for the first two years. If their family income were below the 50th percentile in the third year, they can continue to enjoy low interest rates. If not, they will be subject to regular interest rates as found in the market.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 11:41 AM   #111
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Taipei boosts provision of housing for elderly
11 February 2011
Taipei Times

As the number of senior citizens in Taipei continues to grow, the Taipei City Government is creating more apartments for the elderly.

There are now 330,000 over-65s in Taipei, accounting for 12.7 percent of the citys population, and the demand for a convenient and safe home environment for them has prompted the city government to build or renovate three apartment complexes especially for senior citizens. Authorities plan to offer at least one such apartment complex in each of the citys 12 districts within the next four years.

The three existing complexes are located in Zhongshan and Shilin districts, offering more than 300 accommodation units for Taipei residents older than 65.

Inspecting apartments located on Xinsheng N Road that opened in October, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin yesterday lauded the facilities and promised to continue efforts to make Taipei a friendly and safe city for the elderly.

The apartment complex used to be a recreational center under the citys Department of Labor Affairs, but renovations turned the 30-year-old building into an apartment complex with 88 single and 24 double bedrooms. The complex offers 24-hour care and is equipped with a gym, recreational room and relaxation area.

Having lived in a social welfare facility in Xinyi District for five years before moving to the Xinsheng complex, 81-year-old Chang Jie described his new apartment as a three-star hotel with great facilities and service.

Its clean and convenient for old people like me, and most importantly, we feel respected in this place. I think the city government should offer more apartment complex like this to take better care of the old people in Taipei, he said.

Department of Social Affairs Commissioner Chiang Chi-wen said the department would open another apartment complex for elderly residents in Datong District next year.

The department has also established 13 daycare centers in the city for the elderly, and will offer more in the future, she said.

The monthly rent for a city-owned apartment ranges from NT$13,000 to NT$18,000, about 20 percent cheaper than private apartment units for the elderly, the department said.
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Old February 19th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #112
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Hau to tour HK, Singapore housing projects
By Mo Yan-chih / Staff Reporter
Sat, Feb 19, 2011
Taipei Times

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) will begin a five-day visit to Hong Kong and Singapore tomorrow, as he seeks to learn from the public housing and urban renewal projects in the two cities as Taipei plans to build more public housing in the next four years.

Hau will visit Hong Kong’s -Urban Renewal Authority and local public housing projects, such as Ngau Tau Kok in Kowloon, from Sunday to Tuesday.

In Singapore, he will meet with officials from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, visit public housing units built by Singapore’s Housing and Development Board and hold a meeting with potential investors about land development in an effort attact both Taiwanese and foreign investors.

Taipei City Government spokesperson Chao Hsin-ping (趙心屏), who also serves as the head of the city’s Department of Tourism and Information, said offering affordable public housing and making Taipei a more beautiful city through urban renewal projects were major items on Hau’s agenda, adding that the public housing projects in the two cities would serve as models of success for Taipei.

Hau promised to increase the number of affordable housing units throughout the city to 50,000 during the next four years in an effort to combat skyrocketing real estate prices.

The city intends to provide 181 public housing units for rentals this year located near new MRT stations, including Xingtian Temple Station, Xianse Temple Station and Sindian Station. As with the Yuanshan project, rent will be about 80 percent of the average paid in the area.

During the tour, Hau will also visit Clarke Quay in Singapore to study its waterfront development, since cleaning up the Tamsui River (淡水河) is also high on his agenda.

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiw.../19/2003496276
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 02:57 PM   #113
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New Taipei City to re-examine proposed MRT
Taipei Times
Staff Writer, with CNA
Tue, Feb 22, 2011

The New Taipei City (新北市) Government yesterday pledged to continue its plans to construct a Minsheng-Xizhi line of the Taipei mass rapid transit (MRT) system despite the plan being rejected by the central government.

The city government said it would provide further evidence of the plan’s viability.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications rejected the project on Feb. 16, saying the city government had failed to provide estimates of the external benefits of the MRT line, such as urban renewal, land development and increased revenue.

The city government will re-examine the project and try to raise its self-liquidating ratio by 2 to 3 percentage points from about 30 percent to meet the ministry’s requirements, acting commissioner of the city’s Transportation Bureau Simon Chao (趙紹廉) said.

“We will never give up on the Minsheng-Xizhi Line,” he said, adding that the project is a crucial part of New Taipei City Mayor Eric Chu’s (朱立倫) political platform.

It would be the first line to be built under the newly sworn-in Chu and is expected to begin at Dadaocheng Station beneath Minsheng West Road in Taipei City and extend beneath the Keelung River to Neihu District.

The total length of the line will be 17.52km, with 15 stations and one depot, to be built at a cost of NT$42.2 billion (US$1.44 billion).

During his mayoral election campaign last year, Chu proposed extending the MRT system by creating 10 new lines, including three circular routes.
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Old February 22nd, 2011, 08:46 PM   #114
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Old February 27th, 2011, 05:40 AM   #115
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MRT’s Nangang extension line to open Sunday
Fri, Feb 25, 2011
Taipei Times

An extension of Taipei MRT’s Nangang Line connecting Nangang Station with the Wenshan-Neihu Line’s Nangang Exhibition Center Station will formally open to passengers on Sunday afternoon. An official opening ceremony will be held in the morning, and the service will formally start at 2pm, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday.

“The operation of the extension will push forward the completion of the MRT service in Taipei and make the lives of residents more convenient,” he said.

The extension, which is about 1km long, lengthens the MRT Nangang Line along Zhongxiao E Road and includes two stations — Nangang Station and Nangang Exhibition Center Station. Nangang Station went into service in 2008.

Passengers will no longer be required to take a shuttle bus between the two stations. The extension line was scheduled to launch in December, but the deadline was pushed back as a result of construction delays.

Responding to questions about the delay, the city’s -Department of Rapid Transit Systems defended its efforts, saying that operational safety and construction quality have always been the No. 1 concern.

The Ministry of Transportation and Communications approved the extension’s operation after conducting two large-scale inspections.

“There is no schedule for trial runs, and we will not rush the construction and inspection process,” Hau said.
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Old February 27th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #116
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Public housing prioritized: Hau
Taipei Times
Fri, Feb 25, 2011

The Taipei City Government will suspend any sales of city-owned land and buildings, and prioritize the use of lands and buildings for public housing projects, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday.

Hau, concluding his inspection tour of public housing in Singapore by visiting a major public housing estate, said Taipei would learn from Singapore’s experience of building a large number of public housing units and hold an international architectural competition to obtain the best design ideas for high-quality public housing estates.

“The public housing estate we visited today is a high quality complex with an award-winning design, an eco-friendly infrastructure and a great living environment. We are determined to offer such high-quality public housing estates in Taipei,” Hau said after visiting the [email protected] housing estate.

The estate, which comprises seven blocks and 1,848 apartments, is the tallest public housing development in Singapore at 50 storys high.

It is a signature public housing estate that was proposed by former Singaporean prime ninister Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀) in 2001, and the government invited international designers to complete the circuit board-like blocks with unique design features, including sky bridges and sky gardens.

According to the city-state’s Housing & Development Board (HDB), each unit in the estate measures about 90m2 to 103m2, and is sold to eligible applicants at a price of between S$290,000 (US$ 226,669) and S$650,000.

Under the government policy of offering affordable housing to every citizen, about 82 percent of Singaporeans live in public housing units, with 95 percent owning the properties.

Hau said the public housing units in Taipei would only be available for rental, as the city government aimed to offer reasonable rental housing to those who do not have the means to purchase property.

Offering subsidies to rental residents and increasing their ability to purchase properties in Taipei remained the ultimate goal of the city government, he added.

The city intends to provide 181 public housing units located near new MRT stations for rent this year, including Xingtian Temple Station, Xianse Temple Station and Sindian Station. As with the existing Yuanshan project, rent will be about 80 percent of the average paid in the area.
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Old March 3rd, 2011, 12:30 PM   #117
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Developers less upbeat about 2nd half of '11
1 March 2011
The China Post

Developers and construction firms are upbeat about the market in the first half of 2011 — despite the government's recent plan to impose a luxury tax on speculators — yet are more conservative about the second half of this year.

Demand for homes is still strong in the lead-up to the “329 Period,” a time period before and after Mar. 29 that is traditionally one of the busiest seasons in the property market, said Chung Jung-chang, chairman of Huaku Development.

Besides demand, several other factors will combine to contribute to a growth in the market in the first six months, he said. These factors include low interest rates and an increase in incomes, in the midst of an economic expansion after the signing of the cross-strait economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA), he said.

He cited government data suggesting Taiwan's per-capital income has exceeded US$21,000 and is moving towards US$30,000. Under this situation, luxury properties in Taipei selling for NT$2 million a ping would be quite normal, he said. Each ping is 3.3 square meters.

However, in the second half of the year, the government will crack down on speculation with stronger policies, in the lead-up to the 2012 presidential election, he said.

Lee Wen-tsao, chairman of Chong Hong Construction, said the market looks pretty safe in the first half of the year, although the company will not actively purchase land lots, which have become increasingly expensive.

However, for the second half of the year, the government will strengthen its speculation crackdown efforts, as surging property values have become the No. 1 complaint among Taiwanese people, he said.

“The government will do its best to pamper consumers before the election,” he said.

As for commercial real estate, Lee cited a growth potential of 30 to 50 percent, given the signing of ECFA as well as the government's move to open doors to mainland Chinese capital.

Lai Cheng-yi, chairman of the Shining Group, echoed Chung and Lee, saying the first half of the year would be a prosperous period for the real estate industry, due to the anticipated signing of a cross-strait investors protection agreement, the upgrade of various municipalities in Taiwan, an appreciation of the New Taiwan dollar and the move to open the island to Chinese investors.

The negative effects of the luxury tax would be temporary, he said, adding imposing such a tax on speculators wasn't all bad.

He said an overwhelming surge of property prices would not be a good thing for the market, and some government control over home prices would help sustain the current rally.
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Old March 4th, 2011, 07:07 PM   #118
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Sorry,Hkskyline i am talking honestly and brightly without intention to offend you.
you are ruining every thread,but every thread with this meaningless articles that say nothing to people like me who don't live in taipei or hong kong or any other chinese/asian city,we are very interest in the development of this city but you don't post any thing which interest us.maybe people who live in hong kong have an interest in your article,honestly i don't think so also in this case.
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Old March 5th, 2011, 08:53 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kubachrick View Post
Sorry,Hkskyline i am talking honestly and brightly without intention to offend you.
you are ruining every thread,but every thread with this meaningless articles that say nothing to people like me who don't live in taipei or hong kong or any other chinese/asian city,we are very interest in the development of this city but you don't post any thing which interest us.maybe people who live in hong kong have an interest in your article,honestly i don't think so also in this case.
So all these projects don't relate to development? You better read them more carefully.
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Old March 8th, 2011, 05:09 PM   #120
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http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiw.../05/2003497425

Review of Taipei Dome delayed until next month
LESS IS MORE::The head of a civic group calling for the preservation of the site of the project said the revised plan did not adequately reduce the size of the dome
By Mo Yan-chih / Staff Reporter
Taipei Times
Sat, Mar 05, 2011

The environmental impact assessment review process for the Taipei Dome construction project was delayed until next month following a four-hour meeting, as several dozen environmental activists and local residents voiced concerns about the proposed complex’s impact on local traffic and the overall environment.

Taipei City’s Environmental Impact Assessment Review Committee has turned down the environmental impact assessment report three times since 2007. The fourth committee meeting held yesterday at the Taipei City Hall failed to finish the review process of the revised project plan after more than half of the 20 committee members left the meeting that was marked by disapproval from environmental activists and local residents.

“The size of the Taipei Dome in the revised plan only shrank 3 percent when compared with the original plan, which makes little difference to the negative impact on traffic and the environment. We want the city government to revoke the contract and stop the development project,” said Yu Yi (游藝), head of a civic group that is calling for the preservation of the factory site, during the committee meeting.

Pan Pei-chun (潘佩君), the parent of a student at Taipei Municipal Guangfu Elementary School, which is next to the proposed site on the corner of Zhongxiao E Road and Guangfu S Road, said many parents at the school were concerned about the noise and pollution that would be caused by the construction.

Trucks going in and out of the construction site could also pose a danger to children, she added.

Farglory chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄), who attended the committee meeting, rejected the protesters’ claim that the building would have a negative impact on the environment and insisted that its revised Taipei Dome project, which lowered the building coverage ratio from 60 percent to 55 percent and offered more pedestrian space, would be an eco-friendly complex that would strike a balance between urban development and environmental protection.

“Building domes in downtown areas is a global trend and stopping the Taipei Dome development project should not be an option. The stalling of the project has become a joke and it’d be unbelievable if the project was denied,” he said while leaving the meeting.

Taipei City’s Department of Environmental Protection commissioner Wu Sheng-chong (吳聖忠) said the department would gather committee members together some time next month to complete the review process.

The proposed complex would include a 40,000-seat indoor stadium with surrounding shopping and residential districts. Construction is scheduled to begin in July if it passes the environmental impact assessment.

The group signed the contract with the city government in 2006 and plans to invest more than NT$23 billion (US$700 million) in the complex. Since then, ongoing protests from environmentalists and local residents have stalled the review process.
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