Parliament: MND to review criteria for Neighbourhood Renewal Programme

SINGAPORE - The Ministry of National Development will review the criteria used to select flats for the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP), said minister Khaw Boon Wan in Parliament on Monday.

Flats built in the early 1990s may be eligible after the review.

Currently, only flats built before December 1989 and which have not undergone other major upgrading programmes, are eligible.

"We understand that residents in blocks built just after 1989 may feel that their blocks are also ageing, but they have just missed out on NRP," he said in response to Mr Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC)'s request for a review.

The NRP was introduced in 2007 to upgrade selected Housing Block precincts, such as providing drop-off porches. About 140,000 flats - or 75 per cent - of 187,000 eligible flats have been selected for NRP so far.

These residents have responded to NRP positively, Mr Khaw said, and a review is timely.

"We will review the selection criteria and see how the NRP can be extended to blocks built in the early 1990s. If and when we do make such an extension, we will give priority to towns which have not benefitted from the Main Upgrading Programme or Interim Upgrading Programme, like those in the Member's constituency," he said.

Mr Khaw also said Associate Professor Fatimah Lateef (Marine Parade GRC)'s suggestion to review the cost cap for each precinct was "sensible".

"With the rising cost of construction today, we've had occasions when the NRP had to be re-tendered" due to budget constraints, she said.

The cost cap is currently $3,400 per flat.

When pressed for a deadline for the review by Mr Zainal, Mr Khaw said: "We are reviewing. You know I'm a fast worker."