Photo: Wang Fangxiang, an 89-year-old resident of Xinfukang Lane is going downstairs through the elevator (By Reporter Yu Ruwen)
(By Reporter Xing Beilin)
On the afternoon of March 22, No.96 building group of Xinfukang Lane was very busy. Residents gathered to witness and experience the “maiden show” of the first elevator installed with self-raised funds by the building group. Lu Xiaodong, Deputy Secretary of CPC Jing’an District Committee and Governor of Jing’an District, started the elevator together with residents’ representatives, and accompanied the 89-year-old resident Wang Fangxiang taking the elevator downstairs from his home on the 4th floor. The old man had been “bottled up” in home, and this was his first easy “landing” in over two years.
In the following on-site meeting convened, Lu Xiaodong required all the governmental personnel of sub-districts and towns in Jing’an District to accomplish the “convenience for the people, benefit for the people, and warm to the people” livelihood project with concentrated attention and deep affection, so as to improve the life quality of more residents.
Residents Shed Happy Tears
In the front of No.96 building group of the Community at Xinfukang Lane, the reporter saw that the elevator shaft is installed on the west façade of the building, directly connected to the barrier free access. Though the elevator car is rather narrow with a weight limit of 630 kg and a seating capacity of 8 persons, it is enough to meet the needs of residents in the building. To take the elevator, residents only have to swipe the access card, and the elevator will easily take them to the ground or to home in one or two minutes. The elevator’s structure as a whole is in the style of observation elevators, using light absorbing glass outside to keep the corridors lighting while avoiding light pollution to the opposite building. And the elevator car is in a closed structure in order to protect the privacy of residents in adjoining buildings.
“Thanks to the elevator, my old father can go out easily, and I can accompany him wandering about the park and seeing the outside world. We are so happy.” Wang Fangxiang’s daughter said excitedly, pushing the wheelchair of her father. According to Aunt Wang, since a sudden disease two years ago, her father had rarely gone outside. When in bad need to go to hospital, he always called an ambulance for help. Now the elevator has been installed, so the old man can go outside at his will. The elevator runs smoothly and quietly, and it only takes one or two minutes to get to the ground. It is very convenient for them.
Not only has the elevator been praised by these old people over 80 or even 90 and residents having difficulties going outside because of sickness, it has also warmed the hearts of many other residents. During the interview, Han Shunfa, a resident of No.96 building group, shed happy tears for several times. He said, “I used to go up and down the stairs to the 5th floor every day without being tired. But as age grows, now I have to take a break once or twice every time I climb up to home. It’s so tiring for me. Now with the elevator, I can go downstairs at will without difficulty.” Han Shunfa told the reporter that he moved here in his forties. At first, stair climbing was just an exercise for him. However, 20 years have passed, and now he feels stiff in his legs and lacks strength to climb the stairs. Some time ago, he was unable to go downstairs for several days because of recurrence of arthritis.
According to Wei Ying, Secretary of CPC General Branch Committee of Residential Area at Xinfukang Lane, there are nearly 1,100 old people that are over 60 living in Xinfukang Lane community, constituting 36% of the community’s population. No.96 building group on which the elevator has been installed this time has 17 households with 25 old people over 60. Because of advanced age and constant diseases, many old people are unable to go downstairs for weeks, even for months. All they can do is sitting beside the window and looking outside. Every footstep of the stairs is a “natural chasm” lying across before these “midair elderlies”, making them extremely urgent in their demands for an elevator.
Building Group Autonomy Fulfilled Expectations for Long Years
To fulfill the “elevator dream” of residents for long years, CPC General Branch Committee of Residential Area at Xinfukang Lane started the project of elevator installation with self-raised funds by building groups in 2015. In November of the same year, No.96 building group took the lead in accomplishing the consultation of elevator installation with self-raised funds by building groups, in which over 95% owners agreed. Then the building group held several theme meetings to discuss and estimate a series of questions, including the feasibility of elevator installation according to the actual situation of the building, and the influence of the elevator shaft on housing security. Also, the capital contribution of each household, the calculation of maintenance funds and the future cost of elevator maintenance were discussed, a specific plan was proposed and a written application of elevator installation with self-raised funds was submitted to the owners committee of the estate. After more than two years of hard work, the first project of elevator installation with self-raised funds by building groups in community at Xinfukang Lane was officially started construction in December of last year, and was completed and accepted in March of this year.
Talking about the whole process of elevator installation, Wei Ying said that “the greatest merit” belonged to the building group autonomy led by the Party building and the full subjective initiative of residents in No.96 building group. According to Wei Ying’s introduction, the most difficult problem in elevator installation in old public houses was to unify the will of residents and to balance and mediate benefits of all parties. CPC General Branch Committee of the residential area played an active and significant role in problem solving aiming at the “difficult points, pain points and blocked points” in the estate, guiding residents to actively participate and carrying out autonomy. In addition, several warmhearted competent people in No.96 building group came to help and established a “core working group” of their own accords. They actively took charge of the application procedures, rushed here and there to push on the process, coordinated resident conflicts together and listened to residents’ opinions and suggestions on elevator designing plan. As a member of the “core working group”, Han Shunfa was mostly impressed by the support and cooperation from building group residents, owners in the community and the property management company. “Owners in the whole community were understanding and supportive towards our No.96 building group’s elevator installation. Today’s happy scene would not have been realized without their support. I can hardly express my gratitude for them.”
It was learnt that, the case of No.96 building group’s successful elevator installation with self-raised funds by building groups through the “trinity” of neighborhood committee, owners committee and the property management company provided a sample for other 41 multistory buildings without elevator in the community to refer to and to copy. Until now, 8 other residential buildings in Residential Area at Xinfukang Lane have expressed the intention to install elevators, in which one building has entered the project approval process.