More calls for abolishing DBSS


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05/08/2015

Some Members of Parliament (MPs) have renewed calls for the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) to be abolished or tweaked due to the blurred lines of accountability as well as low public confidence in project quality, reported Today Online.

Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC MP Hri Kumar Nair said in a Facebook post last week that he hoped the scheme would be permanently shelved. In 2011, the building of new DBSS flats was suspended following public outcry over the high prices at Centrale 8 in Tampines.

While he acknowledged the intent behind the scheme – which is to bridge the gap between public and private housing – Mr Kumar said confusion could have arisen over the obligations of the housing board.

“Because this is public housing, the expectation is that not only will HDB oversee the development, they’re supposed to work with the developer to resolve all defects. And because there is such an expectation, there is also disappointment when that did not happen,” he noted.

His comments come after several MPs aired their concerns in parliament over the role of HDB in resolving disputes relating to defects in DBSS projects. Some even questioned the scheme’s future, prompting Minister of State for National Development, Desmond Lee to state that there is no need to rush into making a decision when market conditions may change.

Holland-Bukit Timah GRC MP Liang Eng Hwa also made the call to scrap the DBSS. He shared that while it was well-intended, problems rose when the final product failed to meet the expectations of residents.

Moreover, the slowdown in the private property market has made such homes within the reach of more Singaporeans.

“With prices coming down, there may not be a need for a separate category (of housing),” said Liang, who also serves as deputy chair of the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for National Development and Environment.

Meanwhile, Mr Gan Thiam Poh (Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC) noted that newer Build-to-Order (BTO) projects are now catching up in terms of quality.

“If you look at today’s public housing projects, the design is already quite impressive. It’s time to streamline,” he revealed in reference to Punggol Northshore, a BTO project that features smart homes.

Picture Source: Artist’s impression of Centrale 8 in Tampines.
Source copied from: http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/property-management-news/2015/7/102235/more-calls-for-abolishing-dbss