Two blocks of rental flats at Lorong 5 Toa Payoh have been marked for future residential development, reported Chinese media Lianhe Zaobao.
According to Zaobao, about 400 affected tenants were informed of the decision last year, and they are expected to move out of their flats by Feb. 15, 2023.
One and two-room rental units
The affected blocks at Blk 29 and 31 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh sit behind the iconic dragon playground, which is believed to be the only original sand-based dragon playground left in Singapore.
Other amenities situated close by include Kim Keat Palm Market and Food Centre, as well as Toa Payoh SAFRA.
According to the URA Master Plan 2019, both plots of land have been designated with a land use of "residential", and each has a gross plot ratio of about 4.0.
According to the HDB website, there are 196 units of two-room flats located at Blk 29, while there are 346 units of one-room flats located at Blk 31.
Both HDB blocks were completed in 1969.
The surrounding HDB flats – Blk 28, 30, 32, and 33 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh – had been selected for the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) in 2003, and they have already been torn down.
Tenants to move out by Feb. 15, 2023
According to Zaobao, affected tenants had received a notice from HDB, informing them of the rental relocation, on Jul. 12 last year.
The notice reportedly informed tenants that the two HDB blocks would be redeveloped by the government.
According to the notice given to tenants, the tenants had to decide before end August 2021, on whether they wished to continue renting a unit from HDB, or to purchase a new flat.
They would then be able to begin their selection of a new rental unit or purchase a HDB unit, from this year.
Tenants would also receive S$2,500 for their relocation expenses.
All tenants are expected to move out of their rental flats, latest by Feb. 15, 2023.
22 blocks of HDB rental flats in Toa Payoh
According to the HDB website, there are currently 22 blocks of HDB rental flats in Toa Payoh, including Blk 29 and 31 at Lorong 5 Toa Payoh.
A tenant, 90, living at Blk 29 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh told Zaobao reporters that he would be moving to the opposite HDB block (Blk 68 Lorong 5 Toa Payoh) following the announcement.
He shared: "While moving house is troublesome, it's good that there are volunteers who are helping to assist. I think that it's most important that I still have a house. I will continue to live in Toa Payoh, as the environment is familiar and it is convenient."
Tien Foo Sing, the Head of Department of Real Estate and Director at the Institute of Real Estate and Urban Studies (IREUS) at National University of Singapore (NUS), told Zaobao that the two HDB blocks at Lorong 5 Toa Payoh could be replaced by higher-storied BTO flats, to allow more individuals to live in mature estates subsequently.
Tien also noted that in recent years, the government has pushed out new BTO projects that include both rental and purchased flats to promote social cohesion. He added that it is likely to have fewer blocks that solely comprise only rental units in the future.
Top image via Google Maps Street View