Tue, Nov 23, 2010 - Page 3 News List

2010 ELECTIONS: Hau reiterates his support of disputed public housing plan

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff Reporter

Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) on Sunday once again brought up the issue of building a “Little Palace” public housing complex in the heart of Taipei, a proposal that has not received the approval of Minister of the Interior Jiang Yi-huah (江宜樺).

“Little Palace” is the nickname people have given to a plan proposed by Hau last month to build social housing for disadvantaged families and individuals using a plot of land currently housing the Air Force Headquarters on Renai Road.

The nickname stems from the fact that the plot of land is located in an area where real estate prices are very high and is very close to The Palace luxury hotel complex.

Immediately after Hau announced the plan last month, central government officials voiced opposition, whereupon the Ministry of the Interior selected five other plots of land in Taipei city and county for construction of public housing.

However, Hau reaffirmed his support for the “Little Palace” plan during a televised campaign agenda announcement on Sunday night.

Asked to comment on Hau’s announcement after a legislative meeting yesterday morning, -Jiang did not directly turn it down, but his lack of enthusiasm was obvious.

“We fully respect local governments’ plans for social housing, but I don’t think the Taipei City Government considers [the Little Palace plan] a short-term plan to be accomplished anytime soon,” Jiang said. “If it’s a long-term project, then I don’t think it conflicts with the central government’s plan to build five social housing projects at the locations previously announced.”

Jiang said the Air Force Headquarters occupies a large surface area and is not well suited to build public housing.

“The five locations we’ve chosen so far are smaller plots of land outside the city center, but with very convenient transportation,” he said. “I think it’s easier to build social housing projects at such locations.”

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