Coronavirus: Construction of BTO flats to be speeded up after lifting of circuit breaker measures, says HDB

A March 2020 photo shows the construction site for HDB's Ubi Grove Build-To-Order project. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - The construction of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats will be quickened after the circuit breaker measures are lifted to keep projects on track, the Housing Board told The Straits Times on Thursday (April 9).

Since Tuesday, construction activities for all BTO projects have been stopped and worksites closed, in line with the Government's measures to minimise the further spread of Covid-19. The suspension will last till May 4.

"We will work closely with our contractors to track and monitor any impact on the progress of our projects and expedite works when the suspension is lifted," said the HDB in a statement.

Should there be any changes to the project timeline, it will inform affected residents via its My HDBPage.

ST understands the BTO projects that are due to reach its estimated completion date this year include Alkaff CourtView and Alkaff Oasis in Bidadari, Clementi Crest in Clementi, Northshore Residences I and II in Punggol.

Similarly, upgrading works under the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) have also ceased since Tuesday.

Only a small number of flats undergoing toilet upgrading under HIP were allowed to continue works to ensure the toilets are usable, but all works have to end by Thursday.

Introduced in 2007, HIP focuses on improvements in the flat and addresses common maintenance problems of ageing flats.

Before the circuit breaker measures kicked in, some HIP projects had already had their manpower and supplies affected by Malaysia's movement restrictions, which are in place till next Tuesday.

Mr Anthony Koh, chief executive of building maintenance and estate upgrading company ISOTeam, said the Malaysian move has delayed the completion of HIP works in one of his projects in Tampines by one to two months.

Work had started last October and was initially scheduled for completion by the third quarter of this year.

The HDB will make arrangements with households to resume internal works when the suspension is lifted.

In addition, counters at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh and its branches have closed and all appointments, except for ongoing resale and transfer cases, have been deferred until further notice. Call centre and online services are still available.

In May, the HDB is scheduled to launch some 3,700 BTO flats in Choa Chu Kang, Tengah, Pasir Ris and Tampines and about 160 assisted living flats for seniors in Bukit Batok.

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