1. The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) announced today that the land occupied by 191 private terrace houses at Lorong 3 Geylang will return to the State when the current leases expire on 31 December 2020. The land is slated for future public housing.
2. Most of the current owners of the 191 terrace houses have moved out and are letting out their units to foreign workers and other occupants who use them for religious activities.
3. The SLA is committed to helping owners still occupying their units through the lease expiry process. Specifically, each owner will be assigned a dedicated SLA officer, who will help guide them through the lease expiry process over the next three and a half years. For owner-occupants who need alternative housing, there are various existing housing schemes that will help them transit smoothly. These owner-occupants will not be left without options.
4. As a general policy, leasehold land will return to the State upon lease expiry. This allows the land to be rejuvenated to meet the new social and economic needs of Singaporeans.
Rejuvenating Lorong 3 Geylang
5. Lorong 3 Geylang is slated for new public housing development. About 900 metres from Kallang MRT and 500 metres from the new Geylang Bahru MRT which will open in October 2017, the 2.0 ha site will provide Singaporeans with new public housing options in Kallang, which is near the city centre.
6. This is part of a larger plan to rejuvenate Kallang. As outlined in Master Plan 2014, Kallang will offer quality housing, green spaces, water bodies, and new public facilities like the Sports Hub. There will be fresh housing options to meet the housing needs of Singaporeans especially those who wish to live near the city centre. These include new public housing developments in Boon Keng, Bendemeer and around Kallang MRT station, as well as new private residences in Kampong Bugis. With the rejuvenation of Kallang, Kallang residents can look forward to a better living environment, more leisure options, new transport facilities which bring smoother and shorter journeys, and more jobs closer to their homes.
Guiding Owners through Lease Expiry Process
7. The 191 private terrace houses at Lorong 3 Geylang are on 60-year leases which started in 1961 and will expire on 31 December 2020. Owners can continue to use the properties before then. When the leases expire on 31 December 2020, owners have to deliver vacant possession of the properties: they have to a) remove all belongings and furniture and clear the premises, and b) terminate all utilities and services, and pay all outstanding bills. They will not need to demolish or do any works to reinstate the property.
8. Each owner has been assigned a dedicated SLA officer, who will help guide the owner through the process over the next three and a half years. Today, SLA officers went house to house to introduce the dedicated officers and hand out a set of Frequently Asked Questions. SLA has also scheduled a personal session with each household to directly answer their questions. Owners who need help in the transition can approach their assigned officer.
9. Based on agencies’ records, most of the owners of the 191 terrace houses have already moved out and are letting out their units to foreign workers and other occupants who use them for religious activities.
10. The remaining owner-occupants have various housing options, if they do not already have alternative housing. They can buy a HDB flat or private property, rent on the open market or live with their family members. For elderly owner-occupants, there are also existing schemes which would help them in their transition, including the short-lease 2-Room Flexi flats. Singaporean households can approach agencies for assistance if they need help transitioning to their next housing arrangement. They will not be left without options.
11. Employers of foreign work pass holders may consider relocating their workers to other approved housing, such as Purpose Built Dormitories. The Ministry of Manpower will remind employers to relocate them out of the units, closer to the lease expiry date.
12. Occupants who are currently conducting religious activities can consider co-locating with religious organisations operating in other areas. They can also rent a space from commercial or industrial premises where a portion of the gross floor area can be used for religious purposes on a limited, non-exclusive basis.