• Published Date: 22 Apr 2022

    HDB's Reply


    HDB working with contractors to expedite works
    Date: 22 Apr 2022


    We thank Madam Quah Siew Hong for her feedback (Channel resources to existing delayed BTO projects instead of launching new ones, April 14).

    The construction industry has been hit hard by the pandemic with supply chain disruptions and tightened border controls for migrant workers over the past two years.

    To reduce delays, HDB has been working closely with our contractors to put in place various measures to expedite works. These include helping them prioritise work areas, expedite the authorities' clearances and secure the manpower and material supply needed to complete construction projects.

    Through these efforts, we have been able to catch up on some projects, and minimise further delays for others. However, despite HDB's best efforts, the majority of Build-To-Order (BTO) projects still face delays of six to 12 months. The extent of delay varies by project, and depends on site-specific factors such as technical challenges, the contractor's workflow and supply of materials.

    Even as HDB remains committed to delivering existing projects with as little delay as possible, there is a need to launch more new flats to meet the demand for public housing. This demand has increased significantly in recent years, due to marriage and family formation, and smaller household sizes as more people choose to have their own flats.

    HDB plans its pipeline of BTO projects to ensure resources are deployed optimally. In tendering out new BTO projects, HDB has put in place mechanisms in our tender system and evaluation process to ensure that the resources of contractors are not overstretched by taking on too many projects at any one time.

    Contractors' capacity to undertake projects is assessed holistically, based on attributes such as track record, financial health, safety and productivity records. When migrant workers are brought in, they are also assigned to specific projects and generally not cross-deployed between construction sites.

    We empathise with Madam Quah's situation, and recognise that the construction delays have caused inconvenience and affected the life plans of some of our flat buyers.

    We are doing our best to expedite construction works as much as possible, without compromising the quality of the project and safety. We will continue to keep flat buyers updated on the completion date as construction progresses.

    In the meantime, flat buyers who need further assistance may contact HDB, and we will try our best to help them.

    Norlilah Abdul Latiff
    Director (Sales)
    Housing and Development Board



    Letter to The Straits Times


    Channel resources to existing delayed BTO projects instead of launching new ones
    Date: 14 Apr 2022


    From: Quah Siew Hong


    I refer to the article, "HDB flat buyers in 3 BTO projects frustrated by fresh delays just months before completion" (April 11).

    I bought a Woodleigh Village Build-To-Order (BTO) flat that was launched in November 2016.

    It was scheduled to be completed in the third quarter of last year, but after two rounds of delays, it is now scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of this year.

    My question is, why is the Housing Board launching new BTO projects when so many other existing projects are being delayed?

    HDB should look into reallocating manpower and supplies to overcome the critical issues delaying existing projects.

    We have been renting an apartment since we sold our flat in 2020.

    As we are seniors with no income, the delays mean that rental costs will continue to erode our savings.

    I have also noticed that some projects that were launched after Woodleigh Village have been progressing more quickly.