Some progress has been made at troubled Clementi housing development Trivelis, after the developer got the consensus needed to move sanitary pipes from the laundry areas in more than 70 units.
EL Development had offered in May to move the pipes in affected four-room flats after residents complained that they took up space and were never featured in showflats.
The pipes can only be moved if residents in all 37 units built on top of each other in a single vertical stack agreed to it, in order "to prevent chokes and for easy maintenance".
Yesterday, EL Development told The Straits Times that of the 14 stacks involved, residents in two stacks have agreed to the relocation. The developer has offered financial payment in lieu of the pipes being moved.
The 888-unit project made the news in May after 400 residents complained about defects and other problems, including the sanitary pipes.
Trivelis is a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) project - public housing offered by private developers. Relocation of the pipes from the service yard will take up to a week for each unit. The entire process for a stack is "expected to take several months".
The developer's spokesman said: "We will try to access the units using gondolas into the yard. We also plan to either open up an unsold vacant unit or set up a laundry area at the void deck for affected residents."
The developer is also working with the Trivelis residents' committee, the People's Association and Housing Board (HDB) to contact those who have not responded and those who said no to the offer.
HDB said it is arranging discussions to study how some of the other issues raised by residents can be resolved.
It is also constructing two barrier-free covered linkways at Trivelis, which are expected to be completed early next year.
Ms Sim Ann, MP for the Holland-Bukit Timah GRC, called this a "positive" update in a Facebook post on Thursday . "This will restore usable space to our homeowners," she said. "Pipe-shifting was one of the major items in the developer's goodwill package. More improvements are on the way and I hope all of our residents can move in smoothly."
Bukit Timah Citizens' Consultative Committee wrote to Trivelis residents on Thursday, giving details on other developments, such as new tiles at common corridors and bicycle racks at the void deck.
Owners began collecting keys to Trivelis in January. Public relations executive Jon Nio, 29, who will move in this month, said: "I hope the developer can be more forthcoming with the status... This is a major rectification that would be very disruptive so it's better if we know if it's happening or not."