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Glitches on HDB’s website on sale of BTO flats launch day, work in progress to resolve issues

SINGAPORE — Applicants vying to apply for a public housing unit on Tuesday (Nov 17) could not get on to the website of the Housing and Development Board (HDB), and some took to Facebook to voice their complaints.

On Nov 17, 2020, the Housing and Development Board launched more than 11,000 flats for sale in its largest exercise of the year.

On Nov 17, 2020, the Housing and Development Board launched more than 11,000 flats for sale in its largest exercise of the year.

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SINGAPORE — Applicants vying to apply for a public housing unit on Tuesday (Nov 17) could not get on to the website of the Housing and Development Board (HDB), and some took to Facebook to voice their complaints.

The online users said that they could not access the website after logging in with SingPass, the national passcode system that enables government e-service.

Others said that they completed the application process to buy a flat, only to get a message that read, “502 Bad Gateway Error”.

A “502 Bad Gateway Error” is a general indicator that something is wrong with a website's server communication.

There were also online users who had problems paying an administrative fee to apply for a flat.

A non-refundable administrative fee of S$10 is payable by applicants during a Build-To-Order (BTO) or Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) sales launch.

One Facebook user named Jeanie Foo said that she did not manage to successfully complete the flat application “after so many attempts” due to the server errors.

Facebook user Laura Chua said that the S$10 administration fee for her application was deducted even though she did not receive an acknowledgement or confirmation email from HDB.

When contacted, HDB referred TODAY to a post on its Facebook page, acknowledging that it is aware that “some flat applicants are facing issues” with their applications online.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused,” HDB said, adding that it is working to resolve the issues and will update the public with more information when available.

The statutory board said that applicants with unsuccessful payment records or those who did not receive any confirmation email “are advised to try again later”.

HDB stressed that the sales exercise is “on for a week” and interested buyers may submit their applications before 11.59pm on Nov 23.

“Successful applicants will be determined by a computer ballot, and not on a first-come-first-served basis,” HDB said.

It added: “Please share this (Facebook) post with your family or friends who are thinking of applying for a flat in the November sales launch.”

Earlier on Tuesday, HDB launched more than 11,000 flats for sale in its largest exercise of the year.  

A total of 11,015 flats are available in November’s sales exercise, including 5,795 flats under the BTO scheme and 5,220 units under SBF.

The BTO flats are spread across seven housing projects — three in the non-mature towns of Sembawang and Tengah, and four in the mature towns of Bishan, Tampines and Toa Payoh (Bidadari).

In a Facebook update at around noon on Wednesday, HDB said that the issue has been rectified.

It advised buyers to check on its website to find out the status of their applications.

"For applicants who did not receive any confirmation email after making payment, rest assured that duplicate payments will be refunded," HDB said.

Related topics

HDB BTO SBF flat housing

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