AHTC Addresses Issues Reported By Xiaxue, Improvement Works Halted Due To Covid-19

Update (7 Oct, 8.51pm): The article has been edited to reflect the Workers’ Party statement in full.

Recent Instagram stories by Ms Wendy Cheng, also known as Xiaxue, pointed out several issues with her housing estate in Aljunied GRC.

Xiaxue Posts Flat & Block Issues In Aljunied GRC, Town Council Fixes Them The Next Day

She posted the stories publicly, claiming that some issues have occurred since 2019.

A day after she posted the stories on 5 Oct, said issues have since been resolved. Today (7 Oct), Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) also gave a statement explaining the incident.

Here’s their statement in full, we summarise it after the jump.

The Town Council receives most of residents’ feedback through our feedback channels (emails, phone calls) and from our Members of Parliament, who may relay feedback from their estate walks or from house visits. To address feedback/maintenance issues of the estate, the Town Council would carry out ad-hoc repair/rectification works; some estate maintenance issues would be addressed during the major project works, while other feedback that are not under the Town Council’s purview will be referred to relevant agencies for follow-up.

The Town Council is aware of some of these estate issues at the cluster of blocks in the Lorong Ah Soo area. A major Repair and Redecoration (R&R) project, involving Blocks 109 to 127, and 128 to 137 and 174A to 174D Lorong Ah Soo / Hougang Ave 1, commenced last year (Q4, 2019). The first parcel of Blocks 109 to 127 is due to be completed end October 2020. The progress of the works was suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions for most of this year, but the works are now gradually resuming, with contractors starting works at more blocks to catch up with the R&R schedule. Under the R&R project, most of the other major issues in the estate, such as repainting works, façade repair, void deck improvement works etc would be addressed collectively.

The Town Council was first alerted to the social media postings yesterday (06 Oct 2020) morning, and assessed that some of the issues raised required interim measures. As the R&R contractors were onsite for commencement of work to the second parcel of Blocks 128 to 137, they were deployed to start surface repair works throughout Block 128, and will continue their R&R works at this block as per their work schedule.

The Town Council recognises that there is always room for improvement, and welcomes feedback from residents.

– Aljunied-Hougang Town Council

AHTC upgrading works affected due to Covid-19

In their statement, AHTC shared they were aware of the issues in the area where Ms Cheng lives and revealed that the blocks in her estate are part of a major Repair and Redecoration (R&R) project.

This was started last year in Quarter 4 and would’ve ended Oct 2020 if not for Covid-19 restrictions.

However, the projects are gradually resuming and the issues Xiaxue raised – such as repainting, improving the void decks, and facade repair – would be addressed collectively.

Interim measures taken by AHTC after social media posts

As for the specific issues at the blocks highlighted in the social media posts, AHTC determined that some required interim measures.

Workers were onsite at Block 182 yesterday (6 Oct) to make surface level repairs.

Source

The town council also confirmed that the whole estate should still get improvements in the coming months as upgrading works continue.

AHTC noted that while maintenance issues are carried out ad-hoc, some others would be done during major project works.

Room for improvement, welcomes feedback

Finally, AHTC explained that they receive most residents’ feedback via their feedback channels, as well as from their MPs.

In general, they recognise that there’s room for improvement and continue to welcome feedback from their residents.

Xiaxue’s posts highlighted issues in her housing estate

For context, Xiaxue’s posts appear to claim that although the issues have been fixed, the situation had affected residents for a year.

Source

Xiaxue also claimed that her mother had sent feedback to WP, and to Ms Sylvia Lim directly, but to no avail.

Source

With the Covid-19 situation, however, it may go some way to explain why the issues seemed unresolved since late last year. Although Ms Cheng notes that she preferred if there were replies to the emails her mother had allegedly sent.

Resuming work safely for Phase 3

It’s worth noting that Covid-19 restrictions did affect areas across Singapore, including town council-backed projects, not just in Aljunied or Hougang.

Kudos to the frontline workers who continue to work hard to mend and repair our estates — as well as the team that delivered a quick turnaround for these issues.

Some patience may be required as estate maintenance projects resume in the near future & Singapore gets back on track — while still adhering to safe-distancing measures amidst the pandemic.

More importantly, we’re hoping that open channels of communication will remain, for town councils & residents alike to tackle pertinent issues swiftly & efficiently.

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Featured image adapted from AHTC.