194 families affected by construction delays requested interim rental flats from HDB

Among the 194 requests are 17 future home owners of a Build-To-Order project in Punggol called Waterway Sunrise II. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More than 190 families whose flats are facing construction delays have requested interim rental housing from the Housing Board, as some housing projects have been hampered by work delay as well as labour and supply shortages due to Covid-19.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the HDB said it had received 194 such requests from flat buyers affected by construction delays.

Of these, 131 households are already living in their rental units and 39 households will be moving in or getting their units soon. The remaining 24 households withdrew their requests for the units.

Among the 194 families who made the requests are 17 future home owners of a Build-To-Order (BTO) project in Punggol who are facing a one-year delay after the HDB terminated the services of the building contractor last August.

The HDB said 14 of them are already living in their allocated rental units while the remaining three households will be getting their units soon.

The affected housing project, called Waterway Sunrise II, has 1,014 units across seven blocks.

The original estimated completion date was the first quarter of this year for Block 653A, and the second quarter of this year for the remaining six blocks.

Home owners will now get keys to their flats only in the first or second quarter of next year.

The building contractor, Lian Ho Lee Construction, was fired by the HDB for not being able to meet project milestones.

The project has been handed over to a new building contractor, Expand Construction.

"Construction works at Waterway Sunrise II are making steady progress, and there are no further changes to the project completion timeline," the HDB told ST.

Flat buyers will be kept updated on the revised completion date through My HDBPage as construction progresses.

The HDB previously said that some BTO projects would be delayed by about six to nine months beyond their estimated completion dates due to Covid-19, although it would strive to reduce the delay where possible.

Flat buyers who are unable to find alternative accommodation with relatives or from the open market, while waiting for their flats to be completed, may apply for interim rental housing from the HDB via its website.

Under the scheme, the average monthly rent for a one-room and two-room flat is about $300 and $400 respectively, depending on flat location, said the HDB.

A check on the HDB website showed that two-room flats are available in Sumang Lane in Punggol and Canberra Street in Sembawang.

Three-room and four-room flats are available under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), which is another HDB scheme that provides families with interim rental housing.

A future home owner at Waterway Sunrise II, who wanted to be known only as Ms Tay, is among those who have successfully applied for a two-room interim rental flat.

"As newlyweds, we prefer to have our own space and privacy. Because we managed to get this rental flat, we can still stick to the plan of having a kid this year," said the 30-year-old, who works in retail.

Ms Tay has bought a washing machine, fridge and bed that will also be used at her new BTO flat when it is ready next year.

"We were able to choose between a few locations and we picked Punggol so that we can get used to living in this neighbourhood before we move into our BTO flat next year," she said.

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