“Not to trivialise the defects and concerns that first-time home buyers in particular feels, but I think you shouldn’t use these current few points that have been in the public eye to condemn the entire scheme as a failure. Many people have indeed lived and made homes in these projects.”
That was said by Minister of State for National Development, Desmond Lee in parliament yesterday (13 Jul), in response to a question by opposition MP Yee Jenn Jong on whether DBSS flats had failed to meet the higher aspirations of higher-income homeowners despite being priced at a premium above normal flats.
The HDB has been put in the hot seat recently, after complaints regarding flat workmanship and defects found by homeowners who had just moved in.
Complaints have surfaced over the “shoddy” workmanship of DBSS flats in Clementi’s Trivelis, Centrale 8 in Tampines, and Pasir Ris One DBSS flats, as well as many new BTO flat developments.
High on the list of complaints are wall cracks, uneven tiles, and glass doors that shatter for no apparent reason, and even sudden sprouting of mushrooms under doors!
Residents complain that they paid a premium for a home that resembles a prison, or the corridors of one-room rental apartment flats.
The DBSS flat scheme has been suspended since 2011.
But he added that many of these defects were “surface imperfections”, and that the quality of flats remained high.
Mr Lee said that an independent assessment of building quality by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) showed that BTO flat quality has improved, with scores rising from 79 in 2003 to 89 last year.