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More delays at 5 BTO projects in Marsiling, Bukit Panjang, Bukit Batok, West Coast after main contractors pull out

SINGAPORE — Buyers of flats at five Build-To-Order (BTO) projects that had already been delayed because of Covid-19 are now facing a longer wait as the main contractors have hit financial difficulties.

More delays at 5 BTO projects in Marsiling, Bukit Panjang, Bukit Batok, West Coast after main contractors pull out

HDB said it was working to replace the contractors for the five BTO projects as soon as possible.

  • The main contractors at five BTO projects told HDB last week they could not continue work
  • The reason is the firms have hit financial difficulties, despite some government assistance
  • The projects had already been affected by pandemic-related delays and are set to be set back further, HDB said
  • HDB is working to bring in new contractors as soon as possible

 

SINGAPORE — Buyers of flats at five Build-To-Order (BTO) projects that had already been delayed because of Covid-19 are now facing a longer wait as the main contractors have hit financial difficulties.

In a statement on Thursday (Aug 26), the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said that the two contractors, Greatearth Corporation and Greatearth Construction, told the statutory board last week that they are no longer able to continue work on the projects.

The latest development will affect home buyers of 2,982 units in a total of 13 blocks. HDB said all affected flat buyers were notified on Wednesday.

“We will also keep them informed of the revised completion date of their flats once we have worked out the construction schedule after the new contractors have been appointed,” HDB added.

The projects had been due to be completed as early as the fourth quarter of this year after they had their original end dates pushed back as a result of Covid-19-related delays.

HDB said it expects further delays because of the latest development.

The affected projects are:

  • Senja Ridges in Bukit Panjang

  • Senja Heights in Bukit Panjang

  • Sky Vista@Bukit Batok

  • Marsiling Grove

  • West Coast Parkview

All work at the five sites has stopped since last Friday and HDB is now working with Greatearth to bring in new contractors to complete the remaining work as soon as possible.

Before this, the progress of work at the projects was satisfactory and there were no signs of a slow-down in work or any sudden reduction of supplies or workers onsite, HDB said.

HDB added that the contractors had run into financial trouble in spite of government assistance they had earlier received.

“HDB had also explored possible options to resolve Greatearth’s challenges, such as through advance payments, but Greatearth does not have the financial ability to continue its operations,” it said.

In response to TODAY’s queries, HDB said that it is unable to provide an estimated completion date until it finds a contractor.

“Flat buyers who are unable to find alternative housing arrangements in the interim with family members, relatives or on the open market may contact HDB, and we will try our best to assist them.”

In the meantime, HDB has arranged for contingency contractors to secure the worksites and carry out housekeeping and vector control until new contractors are appointed.

The construction industry has been among the hardest-hit sectors in the Covid-19 pandemic, with materials cost rising and a manpower crunch due to border restrictions.

TODAY earlier reported that upgrading projects in some estates had to be scaled down or delayed because of the rise in construction costs.

“More than 18 months after Covid-19 first hit our shores, the challenges of work slowdown due to onsite safe management measures, shortage of construction workers and disruptions to the materials supply chain remain,” HDB said.

“These delays will affect home buyers and disrupt their life plans, and they will understandably be disappointed by this latest development.”

However, HDB added that it would work to bring the new contractors on board as soon as possible, in order to minimise delays “while ensuring that safety and quality are not compromised”.

Covid-19 restrictions have resulted in most of HDB’s residential projects being delayed by about six to 12 months.

HDB said that as of July this year, it needed 25,000 workers across all its worksites but only about 19,000 workers are available now, representing a shortfall of about 6,000 workers.

“About half of our projects under construction are operating with less than 80 per cent of the required workforce,” it said.

Related topics

HDB BTO construction Covid-19 coronavirus property

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