Fri, Oct 18, 2013 - Page 4 News List

Vacant dormitories a waste of space: Taipei councilors

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

The Taipei City Government has left about 14,000 ping (4,245m2) of space in civil servant dormitories vacant, despite there being a shortage of public housing, two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei councilors said yesterday, urging the city to renovate the dorms to help residents who need housing assistance.

The 14,000 ping of space is scattered around various local government departments and city schools. Altogether, it is worth about NT$7 billion (US$ 200 million) and would generate NT$19 million a month in revenue if it were rented to the public, DPP Taipei councilors Ho Chih-wei (何志偉) and Kao Chia-yu (高嘉瑜) said.

“A lot of public dormitory rooms have been empty for years, yet many Taipei residents must wait for vacancies in public housing units,” Ho said.

Kao said there are about 10,000 households on the waiting list for the city’s public housing program, winch could add at least 700 units if the vacant dormitory space is renovated and put to use.

According to information provided by the city government, the top three departments or city schools with the largest amount of dormitory space are the Taipei Police Department, Taipei Jianguo High School and the Department of Education.

Chen Ming-chi (陳明志), a division chief at the Police Department, said the department has more than 5,000 ping of vacant dormitory rooms around the city and no plans to renovate them since it wants to apply for urban renewal projects instead.

Hsieh Pei-yu (謝佩砡), a division chief at the city’s Department of Urban Development, said that most of the public dormitory buildings that are vacant are at least 30 years old and unsuitable to be public housing units.

The councilors urged Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) to take the initiative and address the issue, given that he vowed to solve housing problems during his term.

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