BTO flat quality not compromised: MND

The quality of Build-To-Order flats has not been compromised although the government ramped up its supply over the past four years, said Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee.

Responding to Parliament queries on public-housing defects, as cited in a report by My Paper, Lee revealed that around one-third of all new residents sought the help of the Building Service Centre after they collected their keys.

About three-quarters of these requests for help involve defects, of which “the vast majority” were surface imperfections that do not affect the structural integrity of the building.

Over the years, the number of defects reported has not changed significantly, he noted.

However, according to the report, the Building and Construction Authority’s (BCA) independent assessment of building quality, also known as the Construction Quality Assessment System, showed that the quality of BTO flats has improved from a score of 79 in 2003 to 89 in 2014.

“It continues to rise and is comparable to that in private developments,” said Lee.

Meanwhile, MPs also raised questions on Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flats, which were designed, built and sold by private property developers.

Given that the intent of the scheme is “to meet the housing aspirations of higher-income flat buyers for better design and finishes”, Non-Constituency MP Yee Jenn Jong asked if the current complaints “signify that DBSS has actually failed in the intent?”

In his reply, Lee underscored that there have been 13 projects under the scheme since 2005.

“Not to trivialise the defects and the concern that first-time home buyers in particular feel when they see scratches or paint marks on their units or more serious defects, but I think you shouldn’t…use these current few points that have been in the public eye to condemn the entire scheme as a failure,” said Lee.

Nikki De Guzman, Editor at CommercialGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories