If there’s one place that no Singaporean wants to live at, it’s Old Changi Hospital.
And one certainly wouldn’t expect to be faced with a similar environment after moving into a gleaming, brand-new Housing Development Board (HDB) unit.
But that’s apparently the case for a resident in Sengkang, for her neighbourhood has allegedly become “mouldy” and like a “haunted house” after just five years.
Here’s what she has to say.
Resident Called Her Estate “Like [a] Haunted House”
On Wednesday (4 January), a Facebook user named Jane Wendy uploaded the following post on Facebook.
In her post, she included over a dozen photos of her neighbourhood and its “mouldy” appearance.
She also expressed her annoyance at how the exterior of her neighbourhood, such as the walls of the HDB blocks, multi-storey car park and rubbish chute, looked “worse than [a 30-year-old] building”.
And that’s not all.
The user also shared that mould has started growing on the ledge right outside her window, which I’m sure is as horrific as living in Old Changi Hospital for most of us.
Apart from that, the user said that her son suffers from asthma and chronic hives. According to her, various items, such as a humidifier and air purifier, have not been effective in helping her manage her son’s condition.
HDB Blocks Are Relatively New
In her post, the resident also revealed that her estate is only five years old and that the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of the HDB units in the area has just ended.
Additionally, the area featured in her photos also looks like Anchorvale Parkview, which is a Build-to-Order (BTO) project that was completed in 2017.
Apart from that, the resident also clarified that the interior of her house does not have mould and that her neighbourhood’s location is “perfect” due to the “cooling” and “comfortable” weather; she just wants the issue of the neighbourhood’s mouldy exterior to be solved.
Lodged Complaint With Town Council, But No Satisfactory Response
And besides complaining on Facebook, the user shared that she had previously lodged a complaint with the Sengkang Town Council (SKTC).
However, the Town Council apparently told her that she would have to wait until they repaint the blocks, which would be in two years’ time “or later”.
Yup, two years. Not two weeks or months.
After reading the resident’s post, many netizens expressed their disapproval at how badly the blocks were maintained.
Some complained that although newer HDB flats these days are more expensive than last time, they are of poorer quality nowadays.
Others pointed out that the Facebook user should have lodged a complaint with HDB instead, as they might have more say regarding the matter.
Several commenters also pointed out that the area should be painted with a coat of better-quality paint since it is located near a river.
Regarding the paint, one person mentioned that even anti-mould paint “has its limits”.
“With direct exposure to UV, [it] loses its anti mould properties faster. With small cracks due to rapid expansion and contraction, [it leaves] gaps for algae and mould to grow,” the netizen wrote.
On the other hand, a handful of netizens shared their own experiences of living in places with visible mould on the buildings as well.
Some areas mentioned by these netizens include Edgefield Plains and Tampines.
After Jane Wendy’s post went viral, a Member of Parliament (MP) for the Sengkang Group Representative Constituency (GRC) responded to her post via a comment in the comments section of the Facebook post of an article by Mustsharenews.com.
The MP, Jamus Lim, responded by stating, “I agree that the state of the block is poor, and that [this is] disappointing.”
He added that the block “does look older than it should”, given that it is only five years old.
In his response, he also included various possible reasons that could have resulted in the mouldy exterior of the block.
Firstly, the choice of paint could have affected the mould’s growth rate since many “new builds do not [utilise] the most anti-mould paint available”.
However, he added that the SKTC does plan to “upgrade” the paint for this cluster when they carry out the repair and redecoration (R&R) works. It has already upgraded the paint for clusters that have undergone R&R works.
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Apart from that, the block’s location might have also contributed to the mould growth in the area.
In particular, the blocks featured in Jane Wendy’s post are right next to a river and “[receive] a fair bit of direct sunlight”.
However, regardless of the reason, he added that he is currently working with SKTC to speed up the R&R works for the area.
This means that the R&R works might take place before the standard seven-year mark, but the plans are still subject to approval and the necessary procedures, such as designing the project and calling for an open tender.
His full response is as follows:
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