On 3 Dec 2011, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) blocks at Redhill Close were selected for the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), a programme for redeveloping older housing estates. This was announced by the HDB as the 76th site to undergo SERS.
SERS involves relocating the HDB flat residents to newer ones, so the 878 units in the Redhill Close estate built in the year 1955 have been vacant since January 2019 but were not yet demolished. The flats were designed with trapezoid roofs and curved facades retaining a colonial flavour in the pre-independence days.
Due to the growing number of cases of COVID-19 in dormitories, a number of foreign workers will be temporarily calling these blocks home. They will remain in these flats except to travel to work using company transport or to buy essentials, in compliance with the circuit breaker measures.
The relocation into the 3-room HDB flats will be done progressively, as its refurbishment completes in the next few weeks. So far, more than 5,000 healthy workers operating in essential services have been relocated.
Before moving in, workers have to register and undergo medical checks to make sure they are well and do not have a fever or respiratory symptoms. Foreign workers would not be able to leave the cordoned area for two weeks, so food would be delivered to them three times a day.
During their stay, foreign workers are expected to follow health and safety measures. Police and security officers will be deployed to maintain order in these blocks.
How will this temporary set up affect the redevelopment of Blocks 1 to 3 and 5 to 22 in Redhill Close? What we know about SERS from an HDB spokesperson’s statement, “Generally, SERS blocks will be demolished after all residents have moved out as the land they occupy is earmarked for redevelopment. However, the actual redevelopment will only proceed after taking into consideration the prevailing market conditions when the site is fully vacated, as well as the Government’s redevelopment priorities then.”
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