Hi Singapore Property Update,
I refer to the letter by Mr M Manimaran published on 21 September 2018.
I agree with him the important role played by HDB to house an entire generation of Singaporeans in the early years of our nation’s development.
However, it appears that there is a change of strategic goals and direction in HDB beginning from the 1990s.
Like you, I lived in Bukit Merah since the day I was born. Around 1998/1999, we received a letter from HDB saying that our block was selected for Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS). I remember there are still more than 50 years of lease left in our block.
File pic: HDB flats along Old Airport Road
The compensation offered was not great and we were not given the option of staying back in Bukit Merah in our familiar surroundings. We were offered flats in Clementi, Bukit Batok and even Jurong!
After our block and others nearby were demolished, the land was left vacant for a number of years before it was sold to private developers.
When I returned to my old estate last year to visit some friends, I discovered that condominiums have replaced the old HDB flats on the same plot of land:
1) The Metropolitan (TOP 2009)
2) Ascentia Sky ( TOP 2014)
3) Echelon (TOP 2016)
4) Alex Residences (TOP 2017)
5) Artra (construction in progress)
Many of the units in these projects are rented out to foreigners. From my friend’s observation, more than half of the residents there are foreigners.
If HDB is really committed to recycle land for Singaporeans, the land purchased for SERS should be used to build HDB flats for the original residents living there and not sold at high prices to private developers to make a profit as well as wealthy Singaporeans to capitalize on the appreciation of their properties years later.
LIM C C