Written Answer by Ministry of National Development on updates to the sprucing up efforts to get rental housing ready to meet the demand more quickly and other sources of housing units to meet demand and backlog of rental housing needs
Jul 4, 2022
Ms Carrie Tan: To ask the Minister for National Development (a) whether any updates can be provided to the sprucing up efforts to get rental housing ready to meet the demand more quickly; and (b) whether the Ministry is looking into other sources of housing units to meet the demand and backlog of rental housing needs.
1 The sprucing of rental flats had been affected by manpower shortages in the construction industry over the past two years. It was also exacerbated by the large number of rental flats that were temporarily used to support the COVID-19 response – while these flats have since been returned to the public rental flat supply, they also had to be spruced up before they could be let out to new tenants.
2 To expedite sprucing works, HDB engaged additional contractors in late 2021 to supplement its existing contractors. Coupled with the improving manpower situation, HDB is now able to spruce up twice as many rental flats each month compared to a year ago, and is on track to clear the COVID-19 related backlog of flats which require sprucing by the third quarter of this year.
3 The total supply of rental flats is currently sufficient to meet the aggregate demand. Nonetheless, the demand for rental housing has increased since the start of the pandemic. HDB is therefore also studying various options to augment the supply of rental flats, such as converting existing buildings. We will share more when the plans are ready.