MP Pritam Singh

Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied): Thank you, Mr Speaker. Just a few short questions for the Minister of State. In view of the figures he gave for rental flats that are available today, is there a plan to increase the rental flat supply in Singapore? Is it the Ministry’s assessment that that number needs to be increased?

The second question is that usage of this word “spruced up”. How long does it take to turn around one rental flat, between one applicant who has moved out of the flat, and to get the flat ready for the next person to come in? I ask because if we consider Home Improvement Programme (HIP) timeline of 10 days, for example, to renovate toilets and stuff, then, how long is that period before the flat can be ready for the next tenant to use?

And finally, just very quickly, Mr Speaker, for the waiting times, currently, what is the average waiting time for an applicant who has successfully been allocated a rental flat?

Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim: Sir, I thank the Member for the questions. One is about the waiting time. We shared in the reply in January that it is less than a year.

And for the supply of rental flats, we have enough rental flats to meet the demand and we will continue to watch this carefully.

About the sprucing up, it depends on the condition of the flat that we take over from the tenant. Some may need more time; others can be done quite easily. So, I want to assure Members that we do our best to provide rental flats to all the applicants. And now, with these additional resources, manpower, contractors that we have, we are confident that we will be able to do the sprucing up by the third quarter of this year.

Mr Speaker: Mr Singh.

Mr Pritam Singh: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Just following up on one of the answers. The Minister of State said that it will be less than a year for waiting time. I think one of the recent answers was about five months. My question is, is it now projected to be more than five months or less than five months, in view of the evolving manpower situation?

Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim: Sir, I am not sure whether Mr Singh has followed the PQs in recent months. I think what he quoted was actually six months – that was in July. But in January, we answered another PQ that we said that it is less than a year. That is recent and the situation remains. What is key is that we are doing our best to do the sprucing up and allocate as early as possible.

Ministry of National Development
1 March 2022

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