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“HDB Broke its Promise to My Son”: Angry Dad Writes in Slamming HDB for Revoking Signed Agreement

The writer sent this letter to the Straits Times as well, but the newspaper didn’t publish it.

SIM THIAM KWEE: Kudos to the recent spate of measures to project a caring government encouraging community spirit and family bonding. Our government seems to be more engaging and trying hard to win the trust of the people.

HDB, on the other hand it seems, is engaging and charging ahead with their record public housing building plans. But as they are busy building and selling houses they have ‘forgotten’ their after-sales commitments.

My son has just collected his keys to their first HDB flat last December, and are getting married soon this year. When they signed the purchase agreement with HDB, they were informed that HDB will smoothen the floors when requested . They made plans and confirmed a budgeted renovation package last year. To their dismay, HDB rescinded this offer and my son only learned about it through the news media much later.

My son proactively wrote an appeal to HDB, but was flatly rejected with a standard reply. He approached an MP for help, whose letter was once again rejected with a similar reply. In the reply, HDB stated it had REVOKED its GOODWILL provided. HDB is no longer ‘feeling good’ it seems.

Goodwill or not, a standard practice should not be revoked AFTER a sales contract is finalised.

Engaging in such practice will cause HDB to lose its reputation as a trustworthy public housing developer. Imagine a property developer’s before-sales pitch to provide subsidised furniture works for the apartment just to revoked it AFTER the buyer collected his house keys!

HDB did not even bother to inform affected owners personally. It is irresponsible for HDB to get the news media to do the job and then hope that buyers would be informed somehow.

HDB’s timing was “excellent”. Given that most affected owners are rushing to complete their renovation and move in before the New Year or Lunar New Year, this timing meant that they would have no time to appeal and wait for a reply from HDB. I do hope this timing was probably just a coincidence.

Ultimately, even if we ignored all this poor handling, I leave you with the question: who wants to buy a new home that has rough and uneven floors?

This practice differs radically from the other institutions. LTA has earnestly been campaigning with large billboards and posters at many MRT stations to assure customers of their commitment to smooth, pleasant and uninterrupted rides. Scheduled free rides were provided too. LTA is promoting goodwill, it seems.

I do hope that HDB will refrain from ‘not feeling good’ and brighten the good feelings after the proud house owners and loved ones settle down in their biggest investment that most of us will ever make in our lives.


This letter was written by Sim Thiam Kwee.
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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Tham wk

    February 8, 2015 at 7:37 pm

    Don’t think hdb cares about reputational risks or what anyone thinks

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