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Why is it so difficult to install elevators in old neighborhoods? How to solve the cost problem?

2024-05-14

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Why is it so difficult to install elevators in old neighborhoods? How to solve the cost problem?

This year's government work report proposed to increase the transformation of old urban areas. This is also the fourth consecutive year old community transformation written into the government work report. It can be seen that the government attaches great importance to the work of benefiting the people. It is also obvious that the process of transformation has not been smooth sailing.

In actual operation, the installation of elevators has become a "blocking" point. The installation of elevators in many residential areas is not very smooth, the owners' opinions are not unified, and the financing of installation costs is still a difficult "hard bone".

Elevator installation burden is heavy

How to solve the cost problem?

"We don't have to pay for installing the elevator. We only pay for the ride. The price is only a few cents. It's a good deal!" This is the Yunnan Province Kunming City Party School living area residents for the district change sigh.

In October last year, the four external "shared elevators" installed in Kunming, Yunnan Province for the first time by leasing mode were accepted and put into use in the living area of the Party School of the provincial Party committee. For this installation project, social funds will advance the installation of elevators, and users will pay for it on a per-, monthly or annual basis. Enterprises can recover the initial investment through elevator use income and car advertising.

"Shared elevator" provides a new solution to promote the installation of elevators in old residential areas, but the transformation task still has a long way to go.

In July 2020, the State Council issued the "Guiding Opinions on Comprehensively Promoting the Renovation of Old Urban Communities" (hereinafter referred to as the "Opinions"), which proposed that by the end of the "14th Five-Year Plan" period, combined with the actual situation in various places, we will strive to basically complete the task of renovating the old urban communities completed by the end of 2000.

According to a survey conducted by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, there are nearly 170000 old communities built in China before 2000. Faced with such a huge demand for elevator installation, where the funds come from has become a major problem that plagues the transformation of old communities.

At present, the cost of installing elevators varies slightly from place to place, but if the cost of pipeline renovation and follow-up maintenance is included, it is generally around several hundred thousand yuan. Combined with the characteristics of low floors and fewer households in the old residential areas that need to be renovated, it is indeed not a small sum of money to be allocated to each household.

Wang Dong, member of the Shaanxi Provincial Committee of the Chinese people's Political Consultative Conference and director of the No.203 Research Institute of China's ordnance industry, said that most of the residents in the old residential areas are the elderly, retired workers, vulnerable groups and foreign renters, and their income is generally low. After deducting the daily expenses of medical treatment, there is little left. When the elevator installation project starts, the owner needs to raise funds, which is under great pressure, and some elderly people with difficulties cannot afford it.

Therefore, the housing and construction department has been advocating "a little bit of residents, a little bit of social support, a little bit of financial subsidies" to raise funds through multiple channels.

The first is financial subsidies. All localities are introducing subsidy policies for the installation of elevators in old communities, and reducing the financial pressure of installing elevators in old communities through direct subsidies and targeted subsidies for disadvantaged groups. For example, the provincial financial subsidy for each elevator in Gansu Province is 100000 yuan, and the municipal finance gives a matching subsidy of not less than 100000 yuan, and the district finance is encouraged to also give subsidies; Changzhou City, Jiangsu Province, for existing residential buildings that meet the application conditions for installing elevators and For the minimum living guarantee families that contribute, each household will give financial subsidies at 80% of the amount of investment for installing elevators.

The second is the personal burden of residents. The "opinion" proposes to support community residents to withdraw housing provident fund for the renovation of self-occupied housing such as the installation of elevators. This provides a new channel for residents to raise funds.

Finally, social funding. Wang Dong suggested that third-party enterprises can provide financial support through revenue to reduce the burden on residents by developing elevator peripheral functions, such as housekeeping, security and other convenient service functions, as well as advertising. If it is difficult to raise funds in place, the government can issue relevant policies to allow relevant enterprises to adopt the "agent construction and lease" mode of "resident application, free installation and paid use.

Uneven benefits lead to controversy

How are low-level interests guaranteed?

Granny Li, who lives in a community in Haidian District, Beijing, is a little worried: the pain in her knee makes her feel very difficult to walk down the third floor. Recently, she was very moved to hear that elevators would be installed in the old residential area.

However, after communicating with several old neighbors on the first floor, Grandma Li found that the residents on the first floor did not seem willing to install elevators.

In the "step ladder era", the low-floor houses in the old community were welcomed by residents because they "can climb two steps to get home. However, the installation of elevators will not only break this "advantage", but may also bring noise to low-rise residents, affect lighting, etc., and then lead to the depreciation of low-rise houses. With the installation of elevators, their houses are less valuable, and the lower-level residents are naturally reluctant.

In order to protect the interests of low-rise households, in recent years, various localities have introduced measures to compensate low-rise households to a certain extent, so as to maintain the loss of benefits such as the devaluation of low-rise households' houses in the process of installing elevators.

In June 2019, Shantou City, Guangdong Province made it clear that the funds required for the addition of elevators in existing residential buildings will be determined by the implementing entity based on factors such as the floor and the size of the benefit, and the allocation ratio will be negotiated and jointly funded. Among them, the first and second floor households can receive appropriate compensation, and the third floor households can not share the cost.

It is worth noting that although local governments have issued relevant compensation regulations, there is no clear compensation standard. Therefore, the amount standard of "low-level compensation" often becomes a new point of dispute among neighbors.

Qiu Baoxing, Counselor of the State Council and Chairman of the China Urban Science Research Association, suggested that it can be combined with three-dimensional parking, underground parking and the installation of elevators. Compensation for parking spaces or cash for the residents at the bottom who do not use elevators is a better solution to the contradiction.

However, relevant experts also said that the compensation standard may not be set by the government. After all, the actual situation of each building is different, and it is difficult to have a unified compensation standard. "Some old buildings have a greater impact on the lower floors after the installation of elevators; but some old buildings have little impact on the lower floors."

"One vote veto" threshold is high

Can the Civil Code promote action?

In the early elevator installation work, many places adopted "one vote veto": as long as one resident opposes the installation of elevators, the renovation of the whole building cannot be carried out. Such more stringent conditions not only fail to reflect the majority opinions of some communities on the elevator transformation problem, but also make the elevator installation work difficult.

Therefore, in the subsequent policies for installing elevators in old communities, the "one-vote veto" has been canceled and the voting ratio has been liberalized.

The Civil Code, which came into effect on January 1 this year, lowered the proportion of residents who agreed to install elevators again, paving the way for speeding up the installation of elevators in old residential areas.

Lawyer Liu Yilin, a partner of Beijing Jingshi Law Firm, introduced that according to the provisions of Article 278 of the Civil Code, the owners shall jointly decide matters, and the owners whose exclusive part accounts for more than 2/3 of the area and the number of people The owners of more than 2/3 participate in the voting. The installation of elevators in the community belongs to "reconstruction and reconstruction of buildings and their ancillary facilities", and the decision on "reconstruction and reconstruction of buildings and their ancillary facilities" shall be approved by the owners who participate in the voting area of more than 3/4 of the exclusive part and the owners who participate in the voting.

Compared with the previous regulations, the Civil Code reduces the requirements for the number of owners' voting consent and the proportion of exclusive part area, I .e. from "double 2/3" consent to "double 2/3 double 3/4" consent. Liu Yilin believes that this new regulation emphasizes the participation and autonomy of owners, protects the voting rights of small owners, and fully embodies the principle of democracy.

However, some people believe that from "one vote veto" to 2/3 and even lower, on the surface, the threshold for residents to agree to install elevators has become lower. In fact, once a resident in the building clearly disagrees, they will often complain by telephone or go directly to the site to obstruct the construction, and the pace of installation will slow down. In order to avoid conflicts between residents, some communities even had to ask for a "one-vote veto" again as an implicit condition for installing elevators.

In the final analysis, the differences of opinion among neighbors on the installation of elevators in old communities need to be bridged by residents' mutual understanding, community-level coordination and more comprehensive solutions.


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