Business as usual for four hawker centres despite leases coming to an end

SINGAPORE - It will be business as usual at four hawker centres despite their leases under the Stall Ownership Scheme ending on Saturday.

While these centres, located at Block 207 New Upper Changi Road, Block 117 Aljunied Ave 2, Block 20 Ghim Moh Road and Block 503 West Coast Drive, will be returned to the Government on Sunday, they will still remain in operation.

According to the National Environment Agency (NEA), more than 75 per cent of stalls in the four centres will continue to run.

Stall owners at Block 117 Aljunied Ave 2 and Block 503 West Coast Drive were offered new three-year tenancies. Those at Block 207 New Upper Changi Road were offered a four-month transitional tenancy from June to September, in line with plans to relocate to a new centre at Block 208B New Upper Changi Road. Stall owners at Block 20 Ghim Moh Road were also offered a similar four-month tenancy. They will be moving to a temporary centre expected to be completed in October as Block 20 Ghim Moh Road will be closed for refurbishment works for a 15-month period.

Hawkers in the four centres previously on the subsidised scheme will also continue to pay subsidised rent. The subsidised rentals for cooked food stalls range from $192 to $320, while those for market lock-up and slab stalls range from $68 to $111.

Stalls vacated by the previous stall owners in these four centres will be offered for tender.

The NEA meanwhile will continue to study a government proposal to outsource the management of these hawker centres to social enterprises.

It said: "More time is needed to study the information and feedback which NEA has received from the Request For Information exercise that was conducted earlier this year to gauge the level of interest from the market for these four centres. NEA will share the details when ready. Sufficient notice will be given to hawkers should NEA decide to adopt a new management model for their respective centres and the hawkers' interests would be taken into account."