Thursday, December 4, 2008

Govt Releases 10 New Sites For Foreign Worker Dorms

Source : The Business Times, December 4, 2008

MND: Move made to relieve overcrowding from housing shortage

THE Ministry of National Development has announced that 10 new sites will be made available to build temporary foreign worker dormitories.

They comprise three vacant state properties and seven vacant state lands, which could yield around 20,000 bed spaces. The sites are not within close vicinity of public housing.

The dormitories are part of a government effort to provide proper housing for foreign workers while more purpose-built dormitories come on stream over the next few years. The move will help to relieve the current overcrowding in residential premises arising from a shortage of foreign worker accommodation, which could pose public health and fire safety risks.

The vacant state properties are: the former Queenstown polyclinic building, the former CAAS office, and the existing CPG Corporation Airport Development Division. The seven vacant state lands are at Mandai Road, Old Chua Kang Road, Hougang Avenue 3, Seletar West Farmway, Jurong Road Parcel 1, Jurong Road Parcel 2 and Kim Chuan Road. The dormitories on the Queenstown and former CAAS premises will be operational in 3-6 months.

There has been an influx of foreign workers involved in building important infrastructural projects. National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan, referring to the burgeoning foreign worker population here, has said before that Singaporeans must 'be prepared to see them (foreign workers) and share with them our common spaces'.

Meanwhile, MND has consulted the respective advisers and grassroots organisations on each of the temporary dormitory sites over the past two months, and will implement measures to address any issue arising from the dormitory developments.

Furthermore, the Singapore Police Force will adopt the necessary measures to prevent and detect crimes in the neighbourhood. It will also work with community stakeholders to initiate safety and security projects where appropriate.

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