SINGAPORE - Thirty-six unused state properties, including former schools, will be converted to temporary accommodation for migrant workers by the end of this year.
The joint announcement by the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) on Monday (June 1) came shortly after the multi-ministry task force tackling the coronavirus outbreak said that about 60,000 bed spaces for migrant workers could be made ready by the year-end.
About 25,000 migrant workers will be housed at the 36 sites, which also include vacant factories and tentage at the National Service Resort & Country Club (NSRCC) Kranji.
Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the task force, said: "For now, we have been using sites like army camps and sports halls as well as some vacant HDB flats to decant workers... in order to reduce the density of the dormitories.
"But these are temporary solutions because eventually these sites will have to be returned to their original users and, therefore, we need more sustainable solutions for new dormitory solutions."
In their statement, the ministries said that together with eight new Quick Build Dormitories, which will be built by the end of this year, the 36 converted properties will be a short- to medium-term arrangement to house the workers.
They will eventually be replaced by new purpose-built dormitories, which will be constructed to house up to 100,000 workers in the long term.
Some of the 17 former schools that will be converted are the former Innova Junior College (JC) at 21 Champions Way, the former Serangoon JC at 1033 Upper Serangoon Road, and the former Tampines JC at 2 Tampines Ave 9.
Aside from the schools and the tentage at NSRCC Kranji, nine vacant factories and nine other vacant state properties will also be converted into temporary accommodations.
Mr Wong said: "In land scarce Singapore, it is inevitable that some of these new dormitory sites would be quite near residential areas. So all of us must do our part by rejecting the not-in-my-backyard mindset."
He added that Singaporeans "really need to appreciate" the continued contributions made by all migrant workers in building Singapore, and welcome them as part of our community.
"This is an important part of how we can also learn from this whole experience and become a more inclusive society," he said.
List of unused state properties fitted out as temporary accommodation for medium-term use:
1. 26A Sungei Kadut St 4
2. 11C, 11D, 15A, 15B Tuas Road
3. 25 Kranji Loop
4. 120, 128, 130, 134, 136, 138 Genting Lane
5. 6 Neythal Road
6. 105, 164 Gul Circle
7. 128 Tuas South Ave 3
8. 28 Ayer Rajah Crescent
9. 36 Sungei Kadut St 1
1. 20 Jalan Damai (former Bedok North Sec)
2. 21 Champions Way (former Innova JC)
3. 8 Chai Chee Lane (former East Coast Pri)
4. 2 Bedok South Road (former Temasek Pri/Sec)
5. 3 Geylang Bahru Lane (former Victoria Sch)
6. 121 Queensway (former New Town Sec)
7. 201 Ulu Pandan Road (former Nexus International Sch)
8. 300 Jalan Jurong Kechil (former Bt Batok Pri)
9. 25 Jalan Tembusu (former Chatsworth International Sch)
10. 2 Tampines Ave 9 (former Tampines JC)
11. 15 Tampines St 11 (former Qiaonan Pri)
12. 931 Jurong West St 42 (former Hong Kah Sec)
13. 1033 Upper Serangoon Road (former Serangoon JC)
14. 29 Woodlands Centre Road (former Fuchun Pri)
15. 1 and 3 Mei Chin Road (former Mei Chin Pri/Sec)
16. 15 Pasir Ris St 21 (former Greenview Sec)
17. 60 Dunearn Road (former Swiss Cottage Sch)
Vacant state properties
1. 63-66 Yung Kuang Road
2. 1-22 Redhill Close
3. 429A Bedok North Road
4. 36 Dunearn Road
5. 8 Lower Delta Road
6. 226 Outram Road
7. 2 Perahu Road
8. 191 AMK Ave 8
9. 90, 92, 94 Kismis Avenue
1. Tentage at NSRCC Kranji