HDB to compensate Punggol BTO flat buyers after completion delay of over a year

Waterway Sunrise II at Punggol Drive under construction on Oct 9, 2021.
Waterway Sunrise II at Punggol Drive under construction on Oct 9, 2021.ST PHOTO: SAMUEL ANG

SINGAPORE - Buyers of flats in a Build-To-Order (BTO) project in Punggol will be compensated as its completion date has been delayed for more than a year, said the Housing Board (HDB) on Saturday (Oct 9).

Waterway Sunrise II, which comprises seven blocks with 1,014 units, is the only project, among the current 94 BTO ones, where the hold-up has exceeded one year.

HDB told The Straits Times that reimbursement will depend on the selling price of the flat and length of delay beyond the delivery possession date (DPD). This is the legal contractual date by which HDB is required to hand over the keys.

The reimbursement range is projected to be between $700 and $10,500, with the average sum at $5,000. Flat delivery is likely between the fourth quarter of next year and the first quarter of 2023, taking the waiting time to about 5½ years.

Waterway Sunrise II, which was launched in February 2017, was expected to have been completed between the first and second quarter of this year.

But the target was revised to the first and second quarters of next year - following the poor performance and subsequent failure of contractor Lian Ho Lee Construction in August last year, said HDB.

The board signed on a replacement contractor, Expand Construction, in October last year.

But more pandemic-induced challenges, such as manpower shortage and disruptions to material supplies from the tightening of border controls, led to further delays.

The blocks in Waterway Sunrise II are now expected to be completed six to nine months after their DPD.

Under the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act, buyers can seek reimbursement for costs incurred for the period of delay from the original DPD to the date that HDB delivers the flat.

HDB will reimburse all buyers of Waterway Sunrise II units in a one-off payment. They do not need to submit any claims for costs and can expect to receive payment about two months after key collection.

"We have reached out to the flat buyers... and will continue to keep them updated as construction progresses," said HDB.

It will also consider waiving the forfeiture fees and one-year wait-out period for buyers who decide to cancel their booking to snap up a resale unit due to urgent needs.

HDB added that it will prioritise manpower allocation for this project to help the contractor expedite work and ensure that buyers can move in as soon as possible.