Tampines residents unhappy over planned rental flats

MP Sin Boon Ann has assured some Tampines residents, who were unhappy that HDB rental flats will be built right in front of their block, that the quality of their estate will not be hurt nor the peace be disturbed.

The MP for Tampines GRC will work with the HDB and residents to debunk the perception that rental flats are old, dirty and bad for image of the estate.

A block of rental flats will soon be built in front of Blk 885, Tampines St 83.

Bernard Fernando, a resident living in one of the units in that block, met HDB officials and MP Sin recently to express his unhappiness over the development.

“They shouldn’t build a towering block of 14 stories right beside our 12-storey block. It doesn’t really make sense. It will cut off the light and cut off the ventilation. If there is a need to build, we don’t object to it, but build a lower block,” said Mr Fernando.

Other residents are equally upset. “Most of the rental flats, normally, problem families will stay (there). Once got problem, anything will happen,” said a resident.

“You will lose everything. You block the air, the wind and everything,” said another.

Mr Sin said it is important to have the rental flats near amenities, and that the government has the final say over where the rental flats are sited. He said efforts will be taken to make things smooth for residents.

He said: “We’ll be working very closely with the contractors, HDB and town councils. We’ll be forming a committee, which also will comprise residents, to (find ways to) mitigate the effects of the noise pollution (during the construction of the flats).

“The new flats will be of the new-generation type, which will blend very nicely within the community itself, such that I don’t think one can visibly pick out these flats as rental flats.”

Some residents are concerned that the value of their homes will go down once the rental flats are up. However, property agents said this is highly unlikely.

Eugene Lim, associate director of ERA Asia Pacific, said: “For example, in Bukit Merah, you see resale flats that are next to rental flats still fetching very high resale prices.”

Some observers said public housing may be one issue debated at the next General Election.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 10 Feb 2010

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