Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Potong Pasir HUDC blocks set to go private

3 blocks secure more than 75% support from residents

The Straits Times - January 9, 2012 
By: Daryl Chin

THE three blocks of HUDC flats in Potong Pasir are now a step closer to being privatised.
At the end of a three-day, weekend drive to collect signatures, about 150 households out of the 175 in Blocks 110, 111 and 112 Potong Pasir Avenue 1 had signed on the dotted line, signalling their support.
This 85 per cent support level exceeds the minimum 75 per cent required by the Government for privatisation to go ahead. With this development, the only HUDC estate on the island that has not been given the go-ahead for privatisation is Braddell View.
MP for Potong Pasir Sitoh Yih Pin said he was heartened by the residents' response: 'The residents have shown their support and many have signed. We'll still try to get more signatures as some of them are overseas.'
The Government had given these three Potong Pasir blocks, along with 15 blocks in two HUDC estates in Hougang, the green light to go private in July 2010.
Of the two Hougang estates, one was successfully privatised last April. The other has just secured its 75 per cent approval level.
Privatisation makes HUDC residents the owners of their units and the common property, which gives them better control over the running of their estate.
The residents each have to pay a set sum, including legal and survey fees, for this. After privatisation, an HUDC estate will, for example, no longer fall under Housing Board (HDB) regulations, such as those governing the seeking of approval before sub-letting a unit.
Mr Sukhmindar Singh, a 53-year-old operations manager who chairs the protem committee for the Potong Pasir privatisation bid, said: 'The committee worked as a team, and we had to speak to residents who wanted more incentives from the Government before they would agree to going private.'
The cost of privatisation is capped at $30,000 per flat in Hougang and Potong Pasir, with the Government absorbing the difference if it exceeds this.
A resident, a housewife who declined to be named, said she had hoped to get more: 'Our estate isn't in the best condition. Sometimes, the lifts break down. I hope everything will be in better condition before it's handed over to us.'
There are 18 HUDC or Housing & Urban Development Company estates in all, located in places such as Bishan, Farrer Road and Pine Grove. They were introduced in 1974 to meet the demand for homes by middle-income households priced out of private property, and phased out in 1987 when more housing choices were introduced.
Team Marshe
Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
9383-3992/ 9844-4400

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