Most unit owners have found new homes

Help offered to owners of remaining 5 units who are still considering housing options: SLA

The land in Geylang Lorong 3 which the 191 terraced houses sit on will be returned to the state at the end of the year.ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

Most owners of the units on the land with a 60-year lease in Geylang Lorong 3 have found new homes, with the remaining few still considering their options.

The land will be returned to the state, when the leases expire on Dec 31, for redevelopment.

There are 191 terraced homes sitting on the plot, of which 149 are vacant, used as foreign workers’ lodging or for religious activities.

Five were returned to the state earlier.

Of the 37 owner-occupied units, 32 have finalised their next home, with some moving in with family members or buying new flats, said the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) yesterday.

The six who bought new flats that will not be ready by the Dec 31 deadline have been offered Housing Board homes under the Interim Rental Housing Scheme.

SLA said help is being offered to the owners of the remaining five units who are still considering their housing options.

Four are in the process of moving out to interim rental flats, while the fifth has made alternative arrangements.

SLA had announced in 2017 that the houses will go back to the state when their lease expires.

The site is slated for public housing as part of a larger plan to rejuvenate Kallang, said SLA.

“After all the properties have been returned to the state upon lease expiry, SLA will hoard up and clear the site to prepare it for redevelopment,” the agency said.

SLA had eased the early return of properties from owners by waiving the processing fees and facilitating the refund of the outstanding property tax amount.

For the units used to house foreign workers, SLA and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) have contacted their employers to relocate them in other approved housing, like purpose-built dormitories.

MOM said about 700 workers engaged by nearly 200 employers reside in Geylang Lorong 3.

About one-third of the employers have found alternative accommodation for 221 workers while the others are in the midst of getting them housed elsewhere, the MOM spokesman added.

“We have also assured employers there are sufficient bed spaces in purpose-built dormitories to house their workers,” MOM said.

Those who used the Geylang units for religious activities have been advised to consider co-locating with religious groups operating elsewhere, or renting space in commercial or industrial premises with a designated portion for religious purposes, SLA said.

Of the 16 who did so, 13 have made relocation plans or have decided to wind down, while the rest are considering their options.

On the need to take back the plot, SLA said: “The Government takes into consideration various national, social and economic needs in making land-planning decisions and redevelopment plans. The return of leasehold land to the state upon lease expiry enables the land to be rejuvenated to meet these various needs of Singaporeans.”

This is the first time a residential plot in independent Singapore has reached the end of its lease.

The houses in Jalan Chempaka Kuning and Jalan Chempaka Puteh, near Tanah Merah MRT station, are next in line. Their 70-year lease is due to expire in 2034.

“Source:[Most unit owners have found new homes] © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Permission required for reproduction”

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