When Parliament sits on Monday, 13 July, four Members of Parliament (MP) will be asking the Government to account for the poor quality of flats under the some Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS).
MP for Jurong GRC, David Ong, has filed questions asking the Minister for National Development, Khaw Boon Wan, why “there has been a significant number of complaints over the quality and workmanship of DBSS flats which are supposed to be of higher quality than regular HDB flats.”
He is also asking if there have been “lapses in the quality audit” of these units, and whether there is “an inherent mismatch in the price and quality with homeowners paying premium prices for these ‘premium’ flats.”
Workers’ Party (WP) non-constituency MP (NVMP), Yee Jenn Jong, is asking Mr Khaw for the number of complaints that HDB has received with regard to defects, poor quality or dissatisfaction not only with the DBSS flats but also with Build-To-Order (BTO) flats that have been completed in the last two years.
Mr Jenn also asks what the HDB’s role is in ensuring quality and dealing with complaints about quality of DBSS flats.
Mr Baey Yam Keng, Tampines GRC, is also asking about the HDB’s role in mediating any impasse between the developer and buyers, and its role in “helping aggrieved buyters”.
MP for Choa Chu Kang, Zaqy Mohamad, besides also asking about the role of the HDB in such situations, queries if there has been an increase of complaints in the last 12 months, what the primary causes of such defects were, and what measures are in place to ensure that building contractors are responsive and have sufficient capacity to address the complaints effectively and quickly.
Mr Zaqy was reported by the Straits Times as saying that residents of a new BTO flat in his constituency had alerted him to “severe leaking and flooring problems.”
“The quality of some of these projects is quite worrying, and there has been quite a lot of unhappiness,” he said.
The questions from the MPs come after many complaints from buyers of DBSS flats in the last two years or so.
The recent case at Pasri Ris ONE, for example, drew national attention for its narrow corridor, badly designed ceiling of the corridor, and for its poor workmanship within the units.
In June, and in response to these complaints, the HDB said most of the flaws were “surface imperfections”.
Mr Khaw has so far not said much about the complaints, except that homeowners can send their feedback to MND and the HDB, and they would see if they could assist homeowners after looking into the cases.