Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) yesterday faced criticism as he presented a report to the Taipei City Council on the city government’s demolition of two residences in Shilin District (士林) in March, with city councilors accusing it of “lacking resolution.”
O March 28, the city forcibly evicted those living in the residences, both belonging to a family surnamed Wang (王), to make way for the Wenlin Yuan (文林苑) urban renewal project.
The Wang family were the only residents to oppose the -urban -renewal project. By law, the city government was entitled to destroy their property.
However, the move galvanized widespread outrage and a series of protests by civic groups and young students, with some even calling for Hau’s impeachment.
“All 36 households in favor of the renewal project, the Wang family and Le Young Construction — the construction company in charge of the project — have engaged in negotiations. In the meantime, the city government will provide relevant administrative resources to facilitate the process,” Hau told the city council.
As for promoting an amendment to the Urban Renewal Act (都市更新條例), Hau said he had mentioned the issue to Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平) and had conducted communications with the legislature’s Procedure Committee.
Dissatisfied with the mayor’s report, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Wang Shih-chien (王世堅) accused Hau of engaging in self-deception, saying the city government had forfeited its image and lost public trust.
DPP Taipei City Councilor Chiang Chih-ming (江志銘) said the Wang family merely made one request to the city government, which was that they be allowed to rebuild their two residences on the original plots of land.
However, no resolution to that effect was included in the report, Chiang said.
DPP Taipei City Councilor Wu Su-yao (吳思瑤) asked the mayor if he had mentioned the urgency of making amendments to regulations to the Legislative Yuan and threatened to impose a halt to all urban renewal projects in the city if Hau did not ask for immediate assistance from both the legislature and the Ministry of the Interior.