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HDB leads the way for residents with journey managers

SINGAPORE — When re-housing residents under its long-time Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), the Housing and Development Board (HDB) will now be assigning a “journey manager” to each homeowner to serve as a single point of contact, as part of a revamp in how the HDB communicates with residents on its policies.

Models of HDB flats at the HDB Hub. TODAY file photo

Models of HDB flats at the HDB Hub. TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE — When re-housing residents under its long-time Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), the Housing and Development Board (HDB) will now be assigning a “journey manager” to each homeowner to serve as a single point of contact, as part of a revamp in how the HDB communicates with residents on its policies.

This approach was cited by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam today (Oct 27) as an example of how the Public Service is putting into action the principles of looking at issues through the eyes of residents in order to serve them better.

Apart from assigning a journey manager to build a long-term relationship with the homeowner, the HDB has also revamped its entire information package. For example, flat owners aged 50 and above who are affected by the SERS will receive a separate, simplified guide with enlarged font, as well as questions and answers that are specially designed with the needs of the elderly in mind.

Under the SERS, old estates are redeveloped, and affected residents are compensated for their existing homes and given discounts on brand-new flats.

The HDB has also adopted ideas from its “I want to innovate” competition, such as having audio guides for SERS-affected residents who could not attend its guided tours.

Mr Tharman, who was speaking at the Public Service Leadership dinner, noted that when the Tanglin Halt estate was last year earmarked for SERS — the largest to date — the HDB decided to set up “New SERS” teams. Comprising both planning and operations officers, the teams were tasked with reviewing the SERS benefits package and journey in the eyes of the different groups of homeowners.

“By ... walking alongside the Tanglin Halt residents, HDB has been able to ease their anxieties, solve issues on their minds and help many of them look forward to the rest of their SERS journey,” said Mr Tharman, who is also the Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies.

He also cited an instance when the Health Promotion Board (HPB) and the Alexandra Health System (AHS) worked together on a pilot programme last year to help taxi drivers stay healthy, as most of them do not get to exercise regularly.

Following feedback from taxi drivers and taxi operators, the HPB and AHS partnered ComfortDelGro and SMRT to carve out physical space in their servicing centres as health centres. “To date, more than 7,800 drivers have been screened and over 95 per cent have followed up with a trained health coach at the servicing centres to discuss the results of their health screening,” Mr Tharman said.

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