Public-housing project breaks ground in Taipei

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Sat, Mar 11, 2017 - Page 3

The Taipei City Government yesterday held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Minglun Public Housing complex in Datong District (大同) — the first public-housing project to be entirely carried out by Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) administration.

The complex is made up of 380 units of three types of apartments — single-room, two-room and three-room — ranging from 33m2 to 82.5m2, which are to be leased to Taipei residents.

Taipei-based Reiju Construction and co-contractors China Asia Micro Technology and JH Day Building Workshop won the tender to build the complex with a NT$1.7 billion (US$54.8 million) bid, the Taipei Department of Urban Development said.

The building is to be completed in April 2020, it said.

Ko touted the project as the realization of his public housing policy to build 20,000 units in his first term in office.

“Ideally, the government should ensure that everyone has a home. Before this can be realized, it should at least make sure that everyone has a roof over their heads,” Ko said. “This is the first step toward residential justice.”

The building, with its modern design, would also help attain his goal of bringing “urban aesthetics” to the city, Ko said.

The city is to serve as a testing ground for collaborative projects between the public and private sectors, focusing on the introduction of advanced designs, such as “smart” gas, water and electricity meters that help tenants control usage; energy-saving power grids; photovoltaic panels; and charging stations for electric scooters, whose constructions would be contracted to technology firms, he said.

The Minglun complex will be a fully fledged community that features a kindergarten, long-term care centers, convenience stores and parking lots, Ko said, adding that it would also house a workshop for young entrepreneurs and a “school of innovations” for companies to develop augmented reality and virtual reality applications.

An organic rooftop farm will be built to allow residents to grow their own vegetables, so that Taipei would not become a “concrete jungle,” the mayor said.

In response to criticism that a plan to subsidize property taxes is a ploy to win votes, Ko said that according to the regulations, taxes for homeowners who have several properties can be three times as high as the taxes developers pay for hoarding unsold properties, which he said is unreasonable.