HDB worked closely with Dakota residents for relocation

Heaps of abandoned furniture, clothes and crockery strewn under the blocks in Dakota Crescent as a result of residents' hurried attempts to meet the Dec 31, 2016 moving out deadline.
Heaps of abandoned furniture, clothes and crockery strewn under the blocks in Dakota Crescent as a result of residents' hurried attempts to meet the Dec 31, 2016 moving out deadline.PHOTO: ST FILE

We refer to the commentary (Who guards the bodyguard? The ethics of care for older adults, April 7).

The writer, Dr Ad Maulod, shares views on the ethics and ecosystem of care for older adults, with reference to the account of one resident who was relocated from a Housing Board rental flat in Dakota to one in Cassia Crescent.

We agree with the writer that "care should be person-centred and operate through a network of agencies and individuals caring interdependently with, rather than independently of, each other".

For the residents in Dakota, HDB worked closely with the Relocation Task Force initiated by Mountbatten MP Lim Biow Chuan and voluntary welfare organisation Tung Ling Community Services, which was familiar with the residents, having been sited in the Dakota flats area for many years.

Each household had an HDB contact officer they could approach, and there was an onsite inquiry station and dialogue sessions for residents to raise any concerns about the relocation process.

There were also site visits to the new flats in Cassia, all of which have universal design features like ramps and grab bars, making them more senior-friendly than the old flats in Dakota. All residents also received an allowance to help defray relocation expenses.

For the move itself, the Relocation Task Force helped needy residents move their belongings and provided complimentary furniture. Those in need also received financial support for the costs involved.

We understand the writer's point that care should extend beyond physical needs to encompass each individual's emotional and social needs, including that for dignity, autonomy and friendship.

HDB and various partners - government agencies or otherwise - put in tremendous effort to support the Dakota residents during the relocation. We recognise that even then, we were unable to support each individual fully, given the limits on our resources, such as manpower.

We are thus grateful for the support given to the residents by community leaders, and aim to work more closely with community partners for future relocations.

Foo-Ho Yoke Ming

Director (Rental Housing)

Housing and Development Board

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2019, with the headline 'HDB worked closely with Dakota residents for relocation'. Print Edition | Subscribe