Not all old blocks are acquired for Sers

Many HDB residents have the mistaken belief that the Government will select their blocks for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) once their blocks hit a certain age.

There are some patterns in the way the Government chooses the sites for Sers, if one were to look at them.

Some are those that are needed for projects like MRT stations. Under-utilised sites near MRT stations and town centres have also been acquired to enhance their value.

For example, what was previously Block 79 in Toa Payoh Central, with a big car park and open space in front of it, was demolished, and more and higher blocks were built in its place.

At the same time, Block 157 at the junction of Toa Payoh Lorongs 2 and 6, the largest semi-circular HDB residential building in Singapore, has been left intact.

What the HDB did instead was build more and taller blocks by acquiring the spacious car park behind that block.

As time goes by, there will be fewer old estates close to the Central Business District and town centres with spacious open car parks for the HDB to acquire for Sers.

It does not make sense to acquire old flats and offer residents new ones if it does not benefit the state.

Lim Jit Chaing