FAQ

About "Good Neighbour Scheme"

1. What do we expect our "Good Neighbour" members will experience?

  • Humanity embodied in local community life
  • Fun of co-living and sharing
  • Creating a community life that allows them to be independent and have choices

2. What is Co-living?

While enjoying their private time and space in a community, people can balance their social life in shared spaces. By sharing food, stories and creative ideas, they can have a happy and new community experience and hence more sense of comfort.

3. How is the community engagement proposed by “Good Neighbour”?

We hope that when joining this project, all of the Viva Blue House residents can practise and promote a participatory democratic decision-making mechanism, collaboratively build an open and equal communication platform, and seek compromises while supporting diverse and sustainable participation.

“Good Neighbour" invites new residents in an open and equal way. We are looking for people who are passionate about community engagement. 

 

About applicants

1. Must applicants be Wanchai residents? Does “Good Neighbour” have any target applicants?

No, it doesn't require that applicants must be Wanchai residents.

“Good Neighbour” invites new residents in an open and equal way. We are looking for people who are passionate about community engagement. Applicants must:

  • agree Viva Blue House's objectives and vision
  • be willing to live in Blue House Cluster
  • be willing to participate in the community, contribute their skills and promote "Viva Blue House" collaboratively

2. Who will you find in the co-living community? Where are they?

  • 8 households of Blue House existing residents
  • Members of "Good Neighbour Scheme"
  • Residents who live in the neighbourhood
  • Working partners of "Viva Blue House"

3. What is the difference between “Good Neighbour” members and general tenants?

Usually, tenants can live in a place where they have paid rents according to the tenancy agreements. But members of “Viva Blue House” and “Good Neighbour” are not ordinary tenants as they are also our partners who work together to participate in community life, cultivate and practise an independent but shared residential culture in the community.

4. Do “Good Neighbour” members and Blue House old residents share the same responsibilities and duties?

Yes. We envisage that each and every one of the residents agree and practise the concepts of the project, therefore they share the same responsibilities and duties.

 

Application and Eligibility

1. How can I apply for "Good Neighbour"?

You are expected to join a "Good Neighbour" briefing and gatherings to further understand the scheme before submitting your application. To provide you opportunities to know more about and interact with your neighbours, we welcome you to join various programmes of Viva Blue House.

Applicants can submit their applications on or before 9 March 2019 for the first vetting.

Those who pass the first vetting will be invited to attend the second vetting, which is a face-to-face interview.

A flat will be allocated to a shortlisted applicant through a matching system, who will become our “Good Neighbour” after signing “Good Neighbour Scheme Co-living Charter” and “Good Neighbour Scheme Resident Licence”.

For more details, please visit "Good Neighbour Scheme's Procedure".

2. If I miss the "Good Neighbour" briefing section, or submit the application after 9 March 2019, will I still be considered? 
How can I apply for "Good Neighbour"?

Yes, but attendance at the briefing is a definite advantage. All applications submitted after 9 March 2019 will be put on the waiting list. Details to be announced.

3. Can I apply for "Good Neighbour Scheme" if I have no experiences in community engagement but I really want to feel the Tong Lau culture and am ready to join community building? What are the criteria for selecting a "Good Neighbour"?

Yes, you are welcome to apply as your experience in community engagement is just one of the factors during the first vetting. Our vetting committee will consider another three factors, which are

  • Your self-introduction
  • The reason you want to live in the Blue House Cluster and how you will contribute to the community
  • Your ability that shows you can afford the usage fee (rent)

4. What if I don't have much spare time to join community life / activities, am I not qualified as a "Good Neighbour"?

We expect our "Good Neighbour" members are willing to share responsibilities and agree the concept of co-living. Basically, “Good Neighbour” requires our members to interact actively in everyday life and attend general activities that are about managing the buildings, including (but not limit to):

  • Blue House Cluster residents' meeting once a month
  • We also recommend "Good Neighbour" to:
    • Join community planning meeting in every six months
    • Stand by once a month for emergency phone call such as fire or other emergencies
    • Share community life with the public maximum twice a year
  • "Good Neighbour" members can follow their hobby and expertise to join selectively. For example,
    • Host workshops to share their skills or experiences
    • Join or co-organise "Viva Blue House" public activities
    • Collaboratively establish an eco-friendly living system in the Blue House Cluster with other residents and partners

Apart from participation, we encourage you to organize community activities on your own. The vetting has the final decision.

 

Tenancy agreement and facilities

1. How much is the rent?

For the exact pricing, please refer to the updated pamphlet. The monthly membership fee including rates should be paid every month.

2. Are there any other miscellaneous fees apart from usage fee?

Water and electricity bills shall be paid by residents themselves according to their usage. For other expenses caused by domestic needs (e.g. waste handling, security fee), residents will negotiate at resident meetings and make adjustment on a compromise basis.

3. Do I need to pay deposit? How much is it? And when can I have it back?

“Good Neighbour” members are required to sign “Good Neighbour Scheme Co-living Charter” and “Good Neighbour Scheme Resident Licence”, and pay a deposit which is equivalent to 2 months’ membership fee and the membership fee for the first month before they move in their place. The deposit will be returned to “Good Neighbour” members on the date of surrender.

4. Is a short-term tenancy available?

No, in the light of our objectives to enhance human capital and build a community, the tenancy is at least 1 year. We and “Good Neighbour” members will sign a one-year lease as a trial period. If the situation is satisfactory, the tenancy will be renewed every two years.

5. Does compensation apply to the case that either party breaks the rules or ends the contract early?

If “Good Neighbour” members terminate the contract early, they are required to give a 2 months' notice to the “Viva Blue House” organiser. Otherwise, the deposit is forfeited. If the furniture is damaged or lost by “Good Neighbour” members, the “Viva Blue House” organiser retains the right to claim compensation or deduct it from the deposit.

6. How different are the flats of Blue House and those of Yellow House?

In terms of average area, the flats in Yellow House are smaller than the ones in Blue House. And on the second floor of Yellow House, the roof tiles are classic Chinese. In this case, it is suggested to keep windows open while using less air-con during summertime to ensure good ventilation and thus prevent condensation on the surface of the roof tiles.

7. Are the flats of “Good Neighbour” equipped with furniture and electrical appliances?

Some basic home appliances such as air-conditioner, water heater, induction cooker, range hood are installed in the flats. “Good Neighbour” members should use the appliances appropriately and keep the warranty and user’s manual. If the items are damaged due to misuse, “Good Neighbour” members should handle it themselves and pay compensation. “Viva Blue House” will not responsible for any maintenance. “Good Neighbour” members need to take care of other furniture and electrical appliances on their own.

8. If I become a “Good Neighbour”, can I have my flat renovated or have its structure changed?

As the Blue House Cluster is made up of historic buildings, “Good Neighbour” members shall comply with the ordinance concerning antiquities protection and the guideline for maintenance when they have their flat renovated especially facades, floors and walls of the buildings. For details, “Good Neighbour” members can negotiate with us before the renovation works or refer to “Guideline for Maintenance of Blue House, Yellow House and Orange House (Residents version)”.

9. If I am shortlisted as “Good Neighbour”, can I rent the flat with my friend together? Is my friend required to submit an application for “Good Neighbour” too?

“Good Neighbour” members are not allowed to sublet the flat to any others. If you would like to share the flat with others during the application stage, you need to mention this in the application and join the interview together as the vetting committee will take all this into consideration.

10. Can I keep my pet if I live in the flat of “Good Neighbour”?

Yes. “Good Neighbour” members should be considerate and ensure their pets not to cause damage and nuisance to the Cluster and other neighbours.

11. Are WiFi and broadband ready in the flat?

With television and broadband connected, the flats have WiFi facility and the bills shall be paid by residents themselves.

12. Can “Good Neighbour” members rent the flat for business purposes?

No. In view of the project objectives, weight capacity of the flats and fire safety, the legitimate use of all “Good Neighbour” units are flat use only.

13. Do security guards stay at the Blue House Cluster 24/7?

There are no 24/7 security guards in the Blue House Cluster in order to preserve the lifestyle of Tong Lau. From 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on the working days, the “Viva Blue House” organiser is of service at the Cluster. From 7 p.m. till 10 a.m. of the next day, residents need to collaboratively take care of the emergency of the Cluster, and take turn standing by for emergency call if necessary.

14. Is there any parking space in the Blue House Cluster?

There is no parking space in the Cluster while the Open Space is a public area which is not for parking. Residents have to look for other locations when parking their car.

15. Is fire cooking allowed in the Blue House Cluster?

No, as the Cluster is listed as historic buildings and part of the structures are wood, fire cooking is not allowed in the Cluster according to the principles of heritage preservation. It is suggested to use electrical cooking appliances.

16. Which are the shared spaces in the Blue House Cluster?

  • Blue House Open Space
  • Blue House Cluster's Link Bridge
  • C.O.M.E. Hall

 

(Jan 2019 updated)