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500 DBSS flat-buyers up in arms over finished product

SINGAPORE — His Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat was supposed to be of a higher design quality than a regular public housing unit, but Mr Andy Tan said he found his three-room unit at Trivelis in Clementi a “total disappointment”.

SINGAPORE — His Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat was supposed to be of a higher design quality than a regular public housing unit, but Mr Andy Tan said he found his three-room unit at Trivelis in Clementi a “total disappointment”.

Two sanitary pipes and a water heater, which were not depicted in the project’s showflats, were exposed and clearly visible in his kitchen, Mr Tan said. The living room floor tiles were scratched, and even after replacing a few of them, contractors were unable to polish out the scratches on the remaining tiles.

Mr Tan is among nearly 500 Trivelis residents who are up in arms over various problems with the development, such as shattered shower glass panels and narrow common corridors that are prone to flooding. Most of the residents were issued their keys in January.

A group of residents, who come from almost half of the 888 units that make up the project, have formed a committee to present their concerns to the developer, EL Development (ELD), and other relevant authorities.

In a circular to residents, which was received by TODAY today (May 13), the committee listed other problems that residents have faced, such as kitchen cabinet dimensions that do not allow for a standard-sized oven to be fitted, pole-system wardrobes that lack shelves, defective stove knobs, stain-prone kitchen countertops and rusty dish racks.

The committee has accused ELD of being slow to respond to their emails and refusing the team’s request to meet the managing director in person. “When the committee met (the managing director’s) representatives on April 12, (they said) ELD’s position remained that ELD’s designs and building works are cleared by the relevant authorities and (they) meet all minimum (requirements). It is, therefore, not obligated to entertain our requests for redress,” the committee said in its circular.

The committee, which has also been recognised as a pro tem Residents’ Committee since March, is organising a second dialogue session tomorrow evening to update Trivelis residents.

TODAY understands that Minister of State (Education and Communications and Information) and Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC Sim Ann, who has been working closely with the committee, may be attending the session.

Invitations had also been sent out to ELD and representatives from other agencies, such as the Housing and Development Board and the Ministry of National Development.

When contacted by TODAY, an ELD spokesperson said they will not be attending the dialogue session as they prefer to address residents’ concerns individually. “We all know that (at) dialogue sessions … people can get emotional and heated up ... If any of the residents have strong opinions about these things, they are always free to email or call us, and we will address them individually.”

As for the complaints, the ELD spokesperson said the company is in the process of resolving some of the issues that are not restricted by technical or regulatory restrictions, such as replacing three shower screens that shattered due to impurities in the glass, and clearing chokes in drainage pipes to ease ponding in corridors.

However, there are some issues that the developer will be unable to resolve, such as the sanitary pipes that were initially planned to be placed at the air-conditioning ledge outside of the unit, as originally depicted in the showflats.

“However, during construction stage, our contractor and consultants informed us that due to technical and regulatory constraints, the sanitary pipes … have to be placed at the service yard (inside the unit),” said ELD.

Acknowledging that these constraints should have been factored in during the mock-up of its showflats, the ELD’s spokesperson said they had apologised to residents. They had also tried to rectify the situation by offering a smaller front-load washing machines at discounted prices for residents struggling with the tight space.

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