The number of BTO projects may have increased over the years, but it seems that their fulfilment dates may leave more to be desired.
Around 43,000 households will be getting their keys late, no thanks to construction delays…
With the pandemic, again, having a role to play.
43K Households Affected by Delayed BTO Project During Circuit Breaker; 85% of Ongoing Projects Affected
A distinct lack of manpower, as well as supply chain disruptions, have led to construction delays in numerous ongoing BTO projects.
As such, a staggering 85 per cent of the 89 ongoing BTO projects are said to be six to nine months behind schedule.
Around 43,000 households will be affected by the development.
Apparently, the global COVID-19 situation has, and continues to, played a big part in the disruptions.
Due to travel restrictions, for instance, it has been difficult to bring in extra manpower.
And when the pandemic broke out, China’s lockdown movement, and later on Malaysia’s movement curbs, meant further disruptions of supply chains.
It certainly did not help that building works had to cease in their entirety over the two-month circuit breaker period, with progress only allowed to continue a whole four months later.
Even then, safety measures meant the “nerfing” of productivity and speed of construction, all of which ultimately culminated in significant construction delays.
“Even now,” National Development Minister Desmond Lee expresses, “as Covid infections worldwide continue to be high, it has also been difficult for firms to bring in enough workers and the sector is facing manpower shortages.”
It should be noted that private residential, commercial and industry projects have been similarly affected by the pandemic as well, but hey: we’re all just interested in BTO, aren’t we?
Despite the circumstances, efforts are underway to expedite the process.
Quieter construction activities, for instance, may be allowed to continue on Sundays and even public holidays.
However, Mr Lee has stated that the additional measures will not occur at the expense of relevant workers’ safety and welfare.
As for affected BTO owners, they can approach HDB for advice.
As of end-February, around 240 households have received help through short-term rental flats.
However, such a solution can only sub in for the short run.
Here’s hoping that construction processes will be expedited in an acceptable manner, so that fewer owners will be affected in the long run.
In an earlier article, we wrote that HDB is set to launch some 17,000 BTO flats in the coming year – a record which is similar to that of 2020.
According to the post, a healthy mix of flats will be made available in both mature and non-mature estates.
Sometime before that, on 16 December 2019, former National Development Minister Lawrence Wong (now Education Minister) stated that more flats will be established to meet increasing demand for public housing.
In his own words, the Government was “doubling down on our efforts to build affordable flats and good homes for all Singaporeans”.
Two major policy moves were also unveiled in September 2019 to assist young couples with their home ventures – the income ceilings to purchase new flats were heightened, and the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant was officially introduced.
To know more about BTO, watch this video to the end:
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