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2018-06-25 09:00
Ministry of Interior adopts a three-pronged strategy of rent subsidy, reconstruction supervision, and seismic evaluation to rebuild Hualien
The Ministry of Interior has launched its plan for rent subsidy, reconstruction supervision and seismic evaluation of buildings in cooperation with the Hualien County Government for speeding up the reconstruction of Hualien after the earthquake for recovery in the shortest possible time.

Intermediary for free rental home with subsidy up to NT$16.000

A housing rent subsidy will be offered to people whose homes were ruined by the earthquake, the Ministry of Interior has announced. The subsidy will be up to TWD 16,000 depending on the number of household members. The victims of the earthquake will be subsidized at TWD 3,000 for notarization in signing lease agreements. With immediate effect, the public could apply for this subsidy with the Urban Planning Section of the Department of Construction, Hualien County Government. The telephone numbers are Tel. 038-242688, 038-242756, 038-224854, or 038227171, extensions 534~537.

In addition, the Ministry of Interior also works in cooperation with more than 90 real estate agents to provide free matching for rental housing to mitigate the burden of rent for the victims of the earthquake in the short run. The Housing Act equires that good-hearted landlords who offer their buildings for rent are entitled to a waiver or reduction of rental income, housing tax, and land tax. Information on rental housing from this group of landlords is available at the official website of Hualien County Real Estate Agent Association/Hualien Post-Disaster Rental Housing Consultation Service Section at http://www.花蓮縣不動產公會資訊網.tw/.

Setup of Reconstruction Supervision Team for interest subsidy in financing for reconstruction

Assistance to Hualien Country Government in the setup of a reconstruction supervision team is a top priority, according to the Ministry of Interior. This body will provide information on applicable laws governing the reconstruction of dangerous and old buildings, technical consultation, and financing to assist the integration and submission of the reconstruction plan at high speed.

On 2018, The Ministry of Interior has set the target of launching 500 projects for reconstruction as a means for the full-fledged advocacy of the policy of the reconstruction of dangerous and old buildings. A budget of TWD 210 million has been allocated for subsidizing the public to conduct the evaluation on safety and performance of structure and preparation of the reconstruction plan. Hualien County will be the first receiving the subsidy for the full-fledged reconstruction of the region after devastating by the earthquake, and the number of projects and expenses are not governed by the budget limit of the subsidy program. In addition, the Ministry of Interior also plans to provide subsidies to indigenous people in interest payment for financing in reconstruction, as they are not that well-off.

The government may make quick decisions to name certain districts as renewal districts under the Urban Renewal Act on projects without common consent of all proprietors, according to the Ministry of Interior. Under this measure, urban renewal could be launched after the common consent of more than half of the proprietors in a simplified procedure for speeding up the reconstruction.

Continued assistance to the public in seismic evaluation of buildings

In the urgent assessment of damage to buildings affected by the earthquake in Hualien, the Hualien County Government has worked in conjunction with the National Associations of Architects and the Taipei Structure Engineering Associationto form a team of 50 persons. This team had received 170 reports by noon of the 11th day of the month with 148 cases concluded with assessment. Of these buildings, nine were labelled in red tag for extreme dangerous, six were labelled with yellow tag for dangerous, and the remaining 133 were mildly damaged in their physical appearance without hazard. The government will continue the assessment on buildings in Hualien ruined by the earthquake, and intensify the monitoring and control of pipelines located in the fault areas.

The result of the aforementioned assessment indicates that the structure of most buildings was intact and the public should not worry too much. If members of the public are still anxious about the safety of buildings, they may apply for subsidy in the assessment of structural safety of the buildings under “The Acceleration of Rebuilding Dangerous and Old Buildings in Urban Areas Law”. It is estimated that the subsidy for each case may range from TWD 6,000 to TWD 8,000. Thorough assessment may be subsidized up to TWD 400,000 and the subsidy for eventual reconstruction will be TWD 55,000 per case, according to the Ministry of Interior.

The issue of whether buildings could be erected on both sides of an active fault has not yetbeen determined and only the Chelungpu Fault related to the 921 earthquake has been regulated, emphasized the Ministry of Interior. Indeed, on December 24th 1999, the Ministry of Interior has forwarded the map for topographical survey of the Chelungpu Fault inside the Urban Planning Zone at the scale of 1:1,000 to related county (city) governments for taking immediate action in the overall review of active fault in the Urban Planning Zone, and make announcement on the restriction and prohibition of buildings within 15 meters on both sides of the fault in accordance with Article 81 of the Urban Planning Act. Whether the Milun Fault at Hualien could be handled in the same manner or not will be subject to the overall review of the Ministry of Interior after the Ministry of Economic Affairs have completed the geological survey on the central mountain and the survey on the fault line and sketching.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Interior strengthened regulations governing the seismic design of buildings in 2015 to safeguard the earthquake resistance of new buildings, and will upgrade the standard of design with reference to the trend of potential earthquakes in relevant zones, the geological conditions for introducing relevant seismic resistance design acceleration coefficients for the neighboring fault regions. In Hualien, for example, the acceleration coefficient is the highest in Taiwan. Another example is the regions within the nearby Milun Fault. The design in seismic resistance shall be further strengthened to fortify the seismic resistance of the buildings along the fault lint to protect the safety of people.

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