Kitchen ceiling leak not covered by HDB's Goodwill Repair Assistance scheme

Cheryl Chiew5 May 2021

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As the kitchen ceiling leak in Whing Yeok Leng’s HDB flat was caused by a leak in the water supply pipe she had encased with PVC trunking, it did not fall within the scope of HDB’s Goodwill Repair Assistance scheme. 

Flat owners are responsible for the maintenance of the interior of their flats, said Michelle Ng, Director for Housing Maintenance at Housing and Development Board (HDB).

She made the statement in response to a letter sent by Whing Yeok Leng to The Straits Times (ST), published on 29 April.

In her letter, Whing shared her hopes for HDB to help cover the cost to repair a kitchen ceiling leak within her unit out of goodwill.

She narrated that HDB had declined her request to tap on the Goodwill Repair Assistance (GRA) scheme to repair the leak.

She pointed that her sister-in-law, who also encountered a similar problem with her kitchen toilet involving another unit on a lower floor, had been helped by HDB with the repair cost out of goodwill. 

She noted that the only difference with their cases is that only her unit is affected.

“The similarity is that the defects in our units resulted from wear and tear. Moreover, the defective pipe in my unit is the original one provided by HDB,” said Whing, adding that HDB has yet to reply on her appeal.

“My husband and I are retirees in our 70s without any income…While the leak is within my unit, I am still hoping that HDB can exercise some flexibility and help us co-pay the repair cost.”

Ng’s response, which was published by ST on Wednesday (5 May), explained that the GRA scheme is meant to resolve leaks within the floor slab between flats caused by wear and tear.

“It is a goodwill scheme designed to help break any impasse between neighbours over repair works, and minimise inconvenience caused to affected home owners,” she said.

Under the GRA, HDB co-pays 50% of the repair cost, while the other 50% is equally shared between the upper- and lower-floor flat owners.

For Whing’s case, Ng stated that HDB inspected her flat on 10 March, which was the same day she reported the leak. During the inspection, HDB found that the leak came from the water supply pipe within her unit that she had encased with PVC trunking.

Since it did not fall within the scope of GRA, HDB advised her to engage a contractor for the repairs.

And while Whing had acknowledged the source of the leak, she continued to request co-funding under the GRA scheme.

“We have responded to her on several occasions and also reached out to offer assistance, such as providing a list of recommended contractors and referring her to the Community Development Council for financial assistance, if needed,” said Ng.

“Our efforts to contact Madam Whing over the phone and through visits to her home have not been successful so far. While we will continue to contact her, Madam Whing can also contact HDB via the contact numbers we gave her,” she added.

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Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: 


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