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The Housing and Development Board (HDB) in Singapore has announced that it will reimburse nearly 900 buyers of the Waterway Sunrise II Build-to-Order (BTO) project a total of approximately S$5.1 million after the project was delayed by over a year.

Originally launched in February 2017, the Waterway Sunrise II project was originally slated for completion by mid-2021, with a delivery possession date (DPD) of March to June 2022.

However, the construction timeline of the project was first pushed back due to the failure of its original contractor, Lian Ho Lee Construction, and then by the manpower shortage and supply disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The delay in the project’s completion means that HDB will now compensate buyers for the delay, with eligible buyers set to receive the reimbursement within two months after completing the flat purchase and accepting the settlement agreement. The total reimbursement amount for all 896 households is estimated to be S$5,156,700, with the average reimbursement sum being S$5,750.

The settlement agreement states the exact reimbursement sum the flat buyer is eligible for, based on the actual period of delay and selling price of the booked flat.

Flat buyers would typically need to submit proof of their out-of-pocket qualifying expenses to receive the reimbursement.

However, to minimize inconvenience to flat buyers, HDB will be offering to pay all flat buyers of Waterway Sunrise II “the maximum reimbursement sum that they would be eligible for, without them having to submit any claims/proof of the expenses”.

Flat buyers of the first four completed blocks have already been reimbursed, said the Housing Board.

All seven blocks in the Waterway Sunrise II BTO project have been completed, with units in five of the blocks being handed over to flat buyers progressively.

About 58% of the 951 flat buyers have collected the keys to their new home since December 2022, according to the HDB. Final checks on the remaining two blocks are ongoing, and buyers can expect to receive the keys to their flat by the end of this month.

In order to keep construction of the Waterway Sunrise II BTO project on track amid the severe disruptions caused by the pandemic, HDB said it brought in a new contractor, Expand Construction and “worked very closely” with the company to “reduce the extent of project delays by as much as possible”.

HDB also said in its press release that it had rendered “various assistance measures so that the project could be completed safely and expeditiously without any compromise in its quality”.

These included securing critical construction materials supply and migrant manpower resources during the pandemic, as well as prioritizing manpower allocation to the project to help the contractor expedite construction works.

With the “steady recovery of the construction industry” following the pandemic, HDB said it is on track to complete and deliver keys to buyers of 20,000 flats across 22 housing projects this year.

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