We thank Mr Lim Chong Leong (Let those affected by BTO delay buy resale flats without penalty, May 18), Mr Ng Choon Lai (Any cancelling of BTO flat purchase must come with penalty, May 20), and Mr Bryan Lim Wei Yang (Provide more help to families affected by BTO delays, May 25) for their feedback.
The construction industry is one of the hardest-hit sectors by the Covid-19 pandemic.
As a result of the circuit breaker last year, safe management measures imposed on worksites and the recent freeze in the inflow of workers from South Asia, many construction projects in both the public and private sectors have been delayed.
We recognise the inconvenience that the delays to Built-To-Order (BTO) completion have caused to flat buyers. We are doing our best to work with contractors and agencies to keep construction work on track to meet their revised timelines, while ensuring that project quality and safety are not compromised.
Pending the completion of their flats, flat buyers who are unable to find alternative housing arrangements with relatives or on the open market may contact HDB at www.hdb.gov.sg/efeedback for assistance.
We will continue to explore ways to help affected applicants and families who are in urgent need of housing.
Flat buyers who cancel their flat booking after signing the Agreement for Lease will forfeit 5 per cent of the flat purchase price.
This is to ensure that buyers are serious when they purchase a flat, and do not deprive others with urgent housing needs of the opportunity to do so.
The minimum occupation period (MOP) is a policy to reinforce the owner occupation of HDB flats. It is thus based on physical occupation of the flat; for example, it excludes periods where the whole flat may be rented out.
The MOP is not based on a fixed five-year period starting from the estimated completion date (ECD), but from the point of key collection, which can be earlier or later than the ECD.
Nonetheless, we recognise that every buyer's situation is different, and HDB will consider appeals to waive the forfeiture or MOP on a case-by-case basis.
Parents can register their child for priority admission into Primary 1 using the address of their new HDB flat if the delivery possession date (DPD) is within two years of entry into Primary 1.
While the completion of BTO flats has been delayed, the DPD for BTO projects as stated in the Agreement for Lease has remained unchanged.
Hence, enrolment to Primary 1 will not be affected.
Norlilah Abdul Latiff
Housing and Development Board