Taipei to give free health checks to old buildings
By Lauly Li, The China Post
June 12, 2013, 12:11 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- In light of nearly 70 percent of housing buildings in Taipei being 30 years old or more, the city government yesterday announced that the city will introduce a free "health check" program in 2014 for old apartments.
Taipei City Mayor Hau lung-bin (郝龍斌) said people conduct health examinations from time to time and send their vehicles for maintenance every so often, so the structure of old apartments should also be examined.
Hau said that because Taipei has so many old apartments, it is essential for the program to be established, especially as Taiwan is located on the Ring of Fire and frequently has seismic activity.
The mayor said Taipei is the first city in the nation to promote free health check programs on old apartments, noting that residents will learn more about the safety of the apartments they live in.
Pien Tai-ming (邊泰明), commissioner of the Taipei City Department of Urban Development, said the apartment health check program focuses primarily on examining the safety of a building, noting that the items of inspection include earthquake endurance, fire alarm facilities, evacuation routes and the exterior walls of the building.
Taipei Deputy Mayor Chang Chin-oh (張金鶚) said Taipei City Government will establish and train at least four apartment health check institutes before the end of this year and offer a subsidy of NT$20,000 for each building's examination, noting that the city government will offer NT$4 million in total for 200 buildings in the city.