Mr Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap (Aljunied): Sir, during a recent Parliament session, I proposed to the Ministry to roll out a national programme of facade repair for ageing HDB blocks in view of recent spates of external wall seepage. The Ministry replied that there are currently no plans to roll out such a programme as external wall seepage can be prevented through regular maintenance by the Town Council.
Additionally, it was mentioned that to address building facade issues, BCA will make it a requirement for building owner to perform a Periodic Facade Inspection (PFI) for all buildings above 20 years and above 13 metres in height commencing from second quarter of this year.
Sir, I acknowledge the role of the Town Council in conducting regular maintenance to common areas of HDB estate including blocks’ external facade. As the Town Council chairperson, I am thankful that HDB is co-sharing with Town Councils the costs for Periodic Facade Inspection as well as repair works.
Nonetheless, Sir, I would like to suggest HDB to conduct cost-benefit analysis on whether rolling out a national programme for facade improvement and repair works for ageing HDB blocks would be a favourable option for such extensive works. In general, such an option is preferred due to economies of scale.
Sir, in managing public funds, fiscal prudence is paramount important. Hence, we should strive to adopt best practices. I believe this is HDB’s fundamental consideration when they rolled out national programmes such as Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP), Remaking Our Heartland Programme (ROH) and Carpark Upgrading Programme (CUP) in rejuvenating and refurbishing our ageing public housing estates.
Sir, I think it will be a wise move if HDB adopts a similar approach, that is, to roll out a national programme for facade repair work for ageing HDB blocks.
Ministry of National Development
4 March 2021