HDB and URA have been exercising flexibility on a case-by-case basis for households who are in genuine difficulty and need temporary accommodation, according to Lawrence Wong. 

The government has put in place various measures to help people affected by construction work delays due to the circuit breaker measures, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (26 May) in Parliament.

Homeowners in need of temporary accommodation can avail of subsidised rates at serviced apartments as well as interim rental flats for urgent cases.

Wong made the statement in response to Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim’s question on whether the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and the Urban Redevelopment Agency (URA) will allow rentals which are shorter than six months for HDB flats and three months for private properties, to help those displaced by construction delays, reported CNA.

Wong explained that no change was made on the rules on the minimum rental period.

“However, in view of the COVID-19 situation, HDB and URA have been exercising flexibility on a case-by-case basis for households who are in genuine difficulty and need temporary,” he said.

Construction and renovation work had been suspended during the circuit break period.

With this, authorities are looking to see if transaction timelines could be pushed back for affected homeowners, said Wong.

Also read: COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) Act: How Property Buyers Can Apply for ABSD, OTP and S&P Relief

Moreover, the ministry is working with operators of serviced apartments, some of whom agreed to extend subsidised rates to families in need of temporary accommodation. Wong added that interim rental flats will also be offered to “those who are really urgent and have difficulties”.

“So there is a range of different measures that we are doing to help these people who are impacted. And we will certainly remind the agencies to be prompt and responsive to some of these appeals,” he said.

“We will continue to do whatever we can to assist them.”

On whether renovation and construction work for individual households can resume, Wong reiterated that such projects can be allowed to resume by the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) if contractors have put in place the necessary safety requirements from 2 June.

Renovation works which had already started but have been suspended during the circuit breaker period will be given priority in Phase 1. Authorities will suggest for new projects to be pushed back.

“But if there is any contractor that comes forward and says, ‘I have the workers, they are safe. I have the measures in place and I would like to be prioritised in Phase 1’, we will be prepared to consider such cases as well,” added Wong.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg