The housing board announced on Monday that it will build four new neighbourhood centres in Punggol, Hougang and Sembawang to better serve the needs of residents in newer HDB estates.
In the next five years, the supply of HDB shops in these areas will be ramped up so that residents will have access to adequate facilities when they move into their new homes.
There will also be purpose-built public spaces for daily activities or regular community events, as well as a community plaza in each neighbourhood to increase opportunities for community bonding.
Meanwhile, HDB will disallow the assignment of both commercial and industrial tenanted properties. This move aims to weed out rising assignment fees and unhealthy speculation.
HDB has about 8,000 commercial tenants and 10,700 industrial tenants and they are currently allowed to assign their tenancies. The policy was to facilitate the exit of marginal tenants and to minimise disruption of services.
But in recent years, HDB has seen an upward trend in assignment fees and tendered rents, which contribute to higher operating costs that may be passed on to residents and consumers.
For new tenancies, assignment will not be allowed with effect from 16 October. These tenants must return the premises to HDB for re-tender if they wish to exit their businesses.
For existing tenancies, a 3-year window period will be given to help existing tenants make business adjustments. From now till 15 October 2016, existing tenants can continue to assign their shops or industrial premises. However, their assignees can no longer further assign the premises as they are considered new tenants.
To help shop tenants who wish to scale down their business operations, HDB will continue to allow this group to sublet up to 50 percent of their shop space. However, only one sub-tenant is allowed.
HDB tenants can call 1800-866-3073 (commercial properties) or 1800-866-3077 (industrial properties) for further enquiries on the new measure.
Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email email@example.com