SINGAPORE: Residents at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 whose blocks were selected for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) have been offered the option to apply for a new flat at a BTO project at Ang Mo Kio Central, but some residents are not sold on the idea.
Among those who spoke to CNA on Monday (Aug 8), some said the flats at the BTO site, which is said to be more accessible, would be pricier. Others were worried about whether they would forfeit their priority for a unit at the SERS replacement site next to ITE College Central, should they be unable to secure a BTO at Ang Mo Kio Central.
Residents were informed of the new option in a letter via email on Aug 5.
In the letter sent by the Housing and Development Board (HDB), which was seen by CNA, they were told that 10 per cent of the units at the Ang Mo Kio BTO site – Central Weave @ AMK – would be set aside for them.
This 10 per cent priority allocation comes under the Resettlement/Relocation/Tenants’ Priority Scheme.
Residents were also told that they could use their SERS rehousing benefits to apply for a flat at the Ang Mo Kio BTO site. The benefits include a SERS grant of S$30,000, if eligible, HDB said in response to CNA’s queries about the allocation of flats.
HDB said in its letter that it extended the offer to them after some residents expressed interest in the Ang Mo Kio BTO project. It also noted that the project’s (Delivery Possession Date (DPD) is estimated to be within 2029.
The existing designated replacement site next to ITE College Central has a DPD no later than Mar 31, 2029.
The DPD is the date by which HDB is legally required to hand over the keys to residents.
Residents were also told they could enjoy the 10 per cent priority allocation quota and their SERS rehousing benefits at three other BTO projects in the upcoming August BTO exercise. These projects – Keat Hong Grange (Choa Chu Kang), Woodlands South Plains (Woodlands) and Sun Plaza Spring (Tampines) – were offered because they have the same DPD as the ITE College Central site.
QUESTIONS ABOUT PRIORITY FOR REPLACEMENT SITE
A 39-year-old resident who only wanted to be known as Lynn was concerned that flat prices at the Ang Mo Kio BTO site would be “much higher”.
“The Ang Mo Kio BTO site is very near to the MRT. Very convenient. The ITE College Central site is not so convenient although they said there are buses going to the MRT,” she noted.
“And HDB only allocates 10 per cent (to us). But if we can’t get a flat there, when we want to go back to the ITE site, will we still be at the front of the queue?”
Another resident, who gave his name as Crispin, shared the same concerns.
“If I apply the BTO then never win, then I want to go back (to the ITE site), what is my status there? What if I apply for the BTO then no chance already for this (ITE site)? You need to be clear. Can you give (residents) the reassurance that if you lose, you still win?” said the 58-year-old who works in engineering.
“I don’t want to gamble (on) this one, because at the end of the day, I might need to find a whole other house.”
Regardless of the site, Crispin said he would still need to wait about five years for his new flat. “If you say I will get a new house next month, then okay, there is a difference,” he said.