The Ministry of Justice yesterday started demolishing an old government dormitory community in Taipei, marking the end of 12 years of struggle between the ministry and Huaguang Community (華光社區) residents.
The Huaguang Community, a public property near Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, has housed public workers from the ministry and military personnel since the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) fled to Taiwan in 1949.
After the public servants died, the government allowed their descendants to live there for several decades.
In 2000, the ministry announced the community would be torn down as part of an urban renewal project, but because the residents refused to move, ministers at the time did not carry out the project.
Descendants of former public servants who have lived in the old government dormitory community opposed the ministry’s plans to tear down their homes, saying the ministry had to help them relocate and compensate them before the demolition could take place.
After 12 years of disputes, the ministry yesterday morning tore down seven units of the old dormitory in the community.
While the action did not incur protests, Cheng Wei-hui (鄭偉慧), a representative of the residents, said it was rude that the work took place without prior warning.
According to director of the ministry’s secretary office Yang Ho-chin (楊合進), there are 670 dormitory units in the community. One hundred and seventy-five units have been illegally occupied by residents and among them, 122 had moved out after negotiations. The ministry plans to complete the demolition in September.