Not all estates can take BTO projects

Published 2 June 2011
The Business Times
By Emilyn Yap

Most mature towns have limited land for public housing, minister says in blog

Not every mature estate will be able to accommodate build-to-order (BTO) projects, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on his blog yesterday.

Not all estates can take BTO projectsTanjong Pagar is ‘fully built-up’, but others such as Tampines and Kallang/ Whampoa could have room for new flats, he said.

Mr Khaw was following up on a post that he made on Monday, where he said that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) could launch more new flats in mature estates next year to help young couples live near their parents.

That piece of news has been well-received, he said in yesterday’s blog entry. But he also highlighted that not many mature estates will see the introduction of BTO projects – ‘certainly not in the short term’ – because most are substantially built-up and there is limited land for public housing.

Mr Khaw pointed to a report in The Straits Times in which a young couple living in Tanjong Pagar said that they were looking forward to a BTO launch in that area.

‘Tanjong Pagar is fully built up and a BTO there is unlikely. I hope the young couple would seriously consider other options, especially those in the non-mature estates,’ he said.

‘HDB is still studying the details, but preliminarily, they told me that a couple of mature estates such as Kallang/Whampoa and Tampines could benefit from BTO launches next year.’

Flats in mature estates such as Tampines tend to be more popular because of well-developed transport networks and facilities in these towns.

But newer estates such as Sengkang and Punggol have gotten a larger share of BTO projects. The most recent BTO launch for a mature estate took place last week, when HDB rolled out two projects in Tampines. In December 2009, two BTO projects were introduced in Queenstown.

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