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Thread: 1,700 Clementi homes to be redeveloped en bloc

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    Default 1,700 Clementi homes to be redeveloped en bloc

    June 29, 2007

    1,700 Clementi homes to be redeveloped en bloc

    Project, one of HDB's biggest under Sers scheme, will be completed by 2011

    By Jessica Cheam

    CLOSE to 1,700 households in Clementi have been selected for relocation in one of the Housing Board's largest redevelopment exercises.

    Under the Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), households in the 30-year-old precinct at Clementi Avenue 1 will be relocated to a new site nearby.

    The current site comprises eight blocks of flats, two rental blocks and some shops.

    Apart from a Sers exercise in March last year which involved about 1,800 units, earlier exercises typically involved relocation of about 600 to 1,000 units.

    The new estate, due for completion by the end of 2011, will feature a new park, and is situated near Clementi MRT station, bus interchange and town centre.

    It is the 70th site since Sers was introduced in 1995.

    The HDB will build 1,600 new two- to five-room replacement flats and eligible flat owners living in blocks 401 to 404, and 407 to 409, will be invited to pick their new flats in mid-2008.

    Four of the 10 new blocks will be 40 storeys high, joining 22 similar HDB blocks now being built or already completed islandwide.

    Under Sers, owners are compensated for their homes at the prevailing market rate, and also get a 20 per cent discount on their new flats.

    They are assured of flats in the new site so they can choose to live with old neighbours again, or pick flats elsewhere.

    The existing blocks will be torn down for residential development after the residents are relocated, the HDB said yesterday.

    Among those affected are about 500 rental tenants in blocks 405 and 406 who will be given priority allocation of new flats at the replacement site, or alternative rental flats elsewhere.

    About 500 one- and two-room rental flats will be built at the new site. Tenants eligible for the Public Rental Scheme will also get a $1,000 removal allowance.

    Retiree Sia Soo Kee, 72, rents a one-room flat and has lived there for 23 years. He said he does not want to relocate for fear of losing his neighbours.

    Shop owners in Block 407 had mixed reactions to the announcement.

    Under Sers, shop owners will be compensated based on their property's market value and will be given priority allocation at the new site. Shop tenants will be given an ex gratia payment of $60,000 and a 10 percent discount if they bid successfully for HDB shops elsewhere.

    Coffee-shop owner Phang Wei Lim, 40, said he paid a relatively high price of $690,000 for his shop and felt the HDB's compensation will not be enough.

    But a provision shop owner who wanted to be known only as Mr Lim, who paid about $500,000 for his shop, welcomed the news.

    'This estate is getting old and my shop is struggling to break even,' he said.

    Mr Yap Hee Kwan, 67, is both an affected resident and shop owner. He runs a hair salon and provision shop with his wife.

    He had mixed feelings about the move. He liked the idea of a new home but added: 'After living and working here for nearly 30 years, there are so many memories to leave behind.'

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