Construction set to start in Yew Tee on S’pore’s second ‘vertical kampung’

DPM Lawrence Wong viewing a model of the Heart of Yew Tee Integrated Development on Jan 8, 2023. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
Deputy PM Lawrence Wong at a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of the development of SG's second vertical kampung in Yew Tee. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE – Construction is set to start in Yew Tee to build Singapore’s second “vertical kampung” that will have seniors living in a community packed with all the necessary amenities, including Choa Chu Kang’s first hawker centre.

The Heart of Yew Tee Integrated Development, as the project is called, will have a range of social and healthcare facilities for the elderly and will be ready by 2027.

It occupies a land area of about 0.7ha, around the size of a football field.

The development will have 68 two-room flexi flats for seniors in a 10-storey residential block.

Facilities include a community club, polyclinic, kidney dialysis centre, retail outlets and a community plaza.

Singapore’s first vertical kampung, Kampung Admiralty, is a huge success, said Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong, who was guest of honour at the groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, in his opening remarks. He is also an MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC.

The event included activities such as brisk walking, exhibitions, game booths and performances.

Also present were Minister for National Development Desmond Lee and the other Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MPs – grassroots advisers Alex Yam and Hany Soh and Senior Minister of State for Defence and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad.

Similar to Kampung Admiralty, which was completed in 2018, the Yew Tee development was designed and planned around the physical, mental and social needs of residents, aiming at a more liveable, sustainable and convenient living environment, said the Housing Board in 2021 when it first announced the plans for Yew Tee.

The 11-storey Kampung Admiralty is the first HDB project to co-locate childcare and senior centres in one integrated development, aimed at encouraging inter-generational bonding.

Said Mr Wong: “We were keen to do more of such projects in other parts of Singapore. But the challenge was in finding good sites for such integrated developments, because you need to have a vacant site that is near an MRT station, and this is very hard to do.”

Noting that there will be some inconvenience over the next few years due to the construction, he stressed that it will be well worth the wait. 

The plot of land in Yew Tee where SG's second vertical kampung will be built. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

Apart from the facilities, efforts will be made to bring residents closer together.

The entire development will be senior-friendly, and the community plaza will host many activities for residents, such as group exercises and community bazaars, Mr Wong said.

He added: “We will complement this with spaces for residents of all ages, including our seniors, to socialise with their neighbours and friends, such as at landscaped gardens, or the hawker centre. And this is why we call it a vertical kampung – it is like the kampungs of old, but built vertically.”

The development is next to YewTee Point shopping mall, which is connected to Yew Tee MRT station via a sheltered linkway.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Mr Lee said: “Since the launch of the two-room flexi flats at the Heart of Yew Tee in the November 2021 BTO (Build-To-Order) sales exercise, all 68 units have been taken up.

“This reflects the aspirations of our seniors to age in place, while staying connected with the community. We will continue to explore ways to support our seniors.”

An artist’s impression of the Heart of Yew Tee Integrated Development, which will be ready by 2027. PHOTO: MKPL ARCHITECTS
The Heart of Yew Tee Integrated Development will have a range of social and healthcare facilities for the elderly and will be ready by 2027. PHOTO: MKPL ARCHITECTS

Mr Wong said Singapore’s rapidly ageing population is a challenge that the Government is tackling.

Part of the solution is to have more HDB assisted living apartments, which are flats that combine housing with care service.

The Government piloted the first such Community Care Apartments in Bukit Batok, and their BTO launch in February 2021 was very well received, said Mr Wong, adding that a similar project is coming up in Queenstown.

The authorities will also look at how they can refresh existing housing estates to make them more senior-friendly for residents to age in a familiar environment.

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