MP Pritam Singh

Mr Pritam Singh (Aljunied): I would like to thank the Senior Minister of State for sharing that information. Can I request the Senior Minister of State to share what are the issues that come under the social disamenity criteria that was just mentioned because she did say that she does not have specific numbers of neighbourhood disputes, but that they generally come under this category of social disamenity? So, what are the other issues under this category that HDB tracks? And if the Senior Minister of State does not have an answer to that, what would be some of those instances which qualify as a social disamenity?

My second supplementary question is, in view of the fact that neighbour disputes do come up every now and then in the public housing setting, would HDB actually track this issue going forward so that we can understand what mechanisms can be introduced, such as the CDRT or amendments to the CDRT format, to lower this prospect of disputes and also to measure the success of measures like the cooperation with the Kindness Movement, for example, the “Then How?” series that the Senior Minister of State also spoke about? Thank you.

Ms Sim Ann: I thank Mr Pritam Singh for his question. In terms of what categories are under social disamenities that would include issues apart from cigarette smoke which Mr Louis Ng mentioned, they would include issues to do with noise, foul smells, for instance. And the reason why they are a bit different than neighbourly disputes is that sometimes complaints are raised but the complainant may not be able to identify which unit originated these issues and, therefore, it would not quite be a case where we can identify specific neighbours and it may not be then a neighbour dispute case per se. That is the difference between social disamenities and neighbour disputes. Going forward, we do have intention to track neighbour disputes more closely because we do recognise that we now have developed an ecology of different methods in which to promote harmonious living and to also strengthen our community norms. This would include not just what our HDB branches can do on the ground but also in consultation and partnership with our grassroots volunteers with other organisations, like the Kindness Movement and also in concert with resolution mechanisms, such as CMC and CDRT.

Ministry of National Development
4 November 2020

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