Delayed BTO projects to get priority when construction resumes: Zaqy
Build-To-Order (BTO) projects that have been delayed from the Covid-19 outbreak will get priority for completion once construction resumes, Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad said yesterday.
The Housing Board said in late May that some projects could be delayed by up to six months, although it plans to launch about 7,800 BTO flats next month.
These flats will be in Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Choa Chu Kang, Geylang, Pasir Ris, Tampines, Tengah and Woodlands.
Mr Zaqy, who is in the People's Action Party team led by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong that is contesting Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, said during a walkabout at Woodlands MRT station: "The whole construction sector needs time to restart, and we are doing our best and utmost to prioritise projects that will need support, so HDB flats are one of those."
Mr Zaqy also promised to look into a lift upgrading issue raised by residents of two blocks in the group representation constituency, as the opposing Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) ramped up its criticism of the problem. SDP said earlier this year that the lack of lift access on every level at Blocks 115 and 119 in Marsiling Rise had inconvenienced residents. It started an online petition that has garnered about 500 signatures.
Mr Zaqy reiterated what the Ministry of National Development had said before: Almost all flats now have lift access on every level, except about 150 blocks, because of cost or technical constraints. It said in 2018 that about 70 per cent of these 150 blocks are not eligible for the HDB's lift upgrading programme "due to cost considerations".
Mr Zaqy said: "You also want to be fair to residents and taxpayers on how taxpayer dollars are being used to do upgrading. But certainly, over time, with different ways in which lifts can be upgraded or used, we can review the different types of cost structures to see which flats are now eligible."
Mr Bryan Lim, who helms SDP's Marsiling-Yew Tee team, said incumbent MP Ong Teng Koon previously made similar remarks.He added: "Many people say it is a minor issue, but (if) you actually go (on) the ground and you see the elderly, the handicapped, they are suffering."