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13 building plans approved in Nov

The Buildings Department approved 13 building plans in November - two on Hong Kong Island, six in Kowloon and five in the New Territories.   Of the approved plans, eight were for apartment and apartment-commercial developments, two for commercial developments, one for factory and industrial developments, and two for community services developments.   Consent was given for works to start on 11 building projects which will provide 210,471 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 2,595 units and 83,060 sq m for non-domestic use.   Additionally, the department received notification of commencement of superstructure works for nine building projects.   The department also issued 16 occupation permits - three on Hong Kong Island, five in Kowloon and eight in the New Territories.   Buildings certified for occupation have 53,034 sq m of gross floor area for domestic use involving 1,355 units and 168,627 sq m for non-domestic use.

Welfare caseload remains steady

The overall Comprehensive Social Security Assistance caseload rose slightly by four cases to 216,446 in February, remaining more or less the same as that of January, the Social Welfare Department announced today.   The total number of recipients was 303,442.   Low-earnings cases decreased 0.5% to 2,205. Permanent disability cases were down by 0.2% to 17,471 cases. Both old age cases and single parent cases dipped slightly by 0.1% to 123,593 cases and 23,660 cases.   Unemployment cases increased 0.5% to 18,550 compared with last month, representing a rise of about 47.4% compared with January 2020 when Hong Kong just started to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.   The average number of applications for unemployment cases in December 2021 to February 2022 was 443 per month, representing a decrease of 7.5% from the November 2021 to January 2022 figure.   Ill-health cases remained steady at 26,972.

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