By Leow Swee Chong
Why Lift Upgrading for Tampines Blk 940 and NOT for Hougang Blk 363
When Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) finally landed in Hougang, most of the residents here were very happy. When voting finally started, the Residents of Block 363 were startled. WHY ARE WE MISSED OUT???
We have also conducted a petition to Mr Khaw and actually 35 of the 37 units signed (agreeing to this LUP), but seems like it does not reach the high and mighty.
So I wrote to HDB (Ag. Director (Upgrading Programmes), they simply replied that our block cannot have LUP due to over budget for each units (Benefitting Units or BUs). I cannot understand why it would be so high. So I have made some research and found some blocks in Tampines with lesser BUs but could also have LUP.
The example as below:
Block 940, Tampines Ave 5. A mixed of Exec Maisonette (EM) and Exec Apartment (EA) units.
This is a 9 storey block with lifts to level 2, 4, 6 and 8 (all these even floors) and they covers all the EM units. But those odd level units(all EA) on level 3, 5, 7 and 9 without lift access. See attached photos, the EA are units 179, 181, 211 and 213.
Meaning to say, the number of BUs on each stairways are;
4 levels x 2 units = 8 BUs
Total BUs for this block with 2 stairways(179 to 181 and 211 to 213) are 8 BUs x 2 = 16 BUs
So with $30,000 (as HDB said) cap for each BUs, 16 BUs x $30,000 = $480,000
Cost for each Lift Shaft at Blk 940 Tampines is $480,000/2 = $240,000
While for our Hougang Block 363, we would need 3 new Lift Shafts.
3 x $240,000 = $720,000
We have 37 BUs, so total is 37 x $30,000(cap as said by HDB) = $1.11million
So we still have additional budget of $380,000 to cater for extra works needed.
Nowadays, precast or metal structures are so common and these constructions cost are very much reduced. The cost of a 4 room flat could be less than $50,000 (minus land cost). So why does LUP require such a high cost.
And while conducting the petition, we found that there are many units with elderly, and they really need these lift to their units. We strongly believed that LUP is no a luxury, it has become a necessity. Moreover, our block is designed and built by HDB, if there is a design flaw in our block that heightens LUP cost, HDB should bear even more of the cost.
Letter to Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for National Development
I have sent to Mr Khaw Boon Wan. As usual, his people replied for him and just told us the budget is not enough, very simply… Hope that we can get to the Minister to explain.
Dear Mr Khaw,
We, residents of Block 363 Hougang Ave 5 have come together and like to appeal to you to help us on the implementing of LUP for our block. I have attached the letter, petition form and example at Tampines Ave 5, Block 940 which have lesser Benefitting Units(BUs) and still able to get LUP.
We sincerely hope that you can help us to look into this issue and hope to have a favourable reply from you soon.
Have a good day
Leow Swee Chong
Resident of Block 363 Hougang Ave 5
One of the petition pages sent to Mr Khaw