Disrupted home renovations will get priority to resume: Lawrence Wong
Projects already under way will be allowed to proceed first in phase one of post-circuit breaker period
Home owners whose renovation works were disrupted will be given priority to restart in phase one of the post-circuit breaker period, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong yesterday.
The Government will consider allowing new home renovation projects to proceed earlier if contractors can show that appropriate measures are in place, he added.
He was responding to Workers' Party chairman Sylvia Lim (Aljunied GRC) on home owners who bought homes prior to the circuit breaker, only to find themselves unable to move in because renovation works were disrupted.
Ms Lim noted that the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) has placed works by individual households in a category that would resume in later phases of Singapore's reopening.
Mr Wong clarified that home renovations will resume in two stages, with projects already under way allowed to proceed first.
"For new projects, we will defer, or we will suggest to the home owners and contractors who are embarking on new renovation projects that these be will pushed back later.
"So settle the existing ongoing one first," he said.
But he added: "We have indeed made the commitment that if there is any contractor who will come forward and say - I have the workers, they are safe, I have the measures in place and I would like to be prioritised ahead in phase one - we will be prepared to consider such cases as well."
He also noted that the authorities had put in place measures to help home buyers whose moving and renovation plans were affected.
At the start of the circuit breaker, some exemptions had been made to allow for minor works to be quickly completed so that the homes could be made safe and people can move in quickly, he said.
For those who could not complete renovation works, the Government had worked to see if the transaction timelines could be pushed back and if home owners who were impacted could move in with relatives and friends.
It had also worked with service apartment operators to offer subsidised rates for impacted home owners needing temporary accommodation.
He added: "In the worst case, for those who are really urgent and have difficulties, (we are looking at) offering interim rental flats."
Mr Wong also said there is no change to the rules for the minimum rental periods - six months for HDB flats and three months for private residential properties.
But in view of the Covid-19 situation, the Housing Board and the Urban Redevelopment Authority have been exercising flexibility on a case-by-case basis for households that are in genuine difficulty and need temporary accommodation, Mr Wong noted.