The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) took legal possession of three freehold terrace houses along Merpati Road which had busted their deadline to move out after the land in the area was gazetted for acquisition in 2010 for redevelopment and construction of the Downtown Line on Tuesday (April 25). Their neighbours from 12 other households had all moved out.
None of the owners handed over their keys when a team of SLA officers, led by its deputy chief executive Simon Ong, visited the houses on Tuesday to issue the owners their final warning and notice of legal acquisition.
The two-storey houses, situated across the street from the upcoming Mattar MRT Station, had been given four rounds of extension spanning 20 months from the original deadline in 2015 to give up the land, said the SLA.
The SLA officers told reporters on site that they managed to speak with Mr George Oh, who lives with his two brothers at house number 29. Mr Oh, they said, “understands the significance” of the move and has promised to move out in a few days.
Occupants at houses number 27 and 33 did not respond to the officers and the notices were dropped into their letterboxes.
Mr Oh, 60, who has been living at the property since 1974, told reporters that his younger brother, a 54-year-old car mechanic, was resistant to moving out because he works in the area. His elder brother, 64, is physically immobile.
They have bought a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat, which is currently undergoing renovation, and will move out “gradually” as the works near completion, he said.
Still, it is emotional and challenging for the family, said Mr Oh, who added that they were hoping for another extension.
“But they said cannot, that we have to move out… in one to two weeks… It was very hard to get a landed property,” he said.
Asked if the compensation offered by the Government was sufficient, Mr Oh said no, but declined to reveal how much he was given.
TODAY understands that market compensation of between S$1.7m and S$3.3 million was offered to them, alongside various other concessions, such as priority for Build To Order HDB applications, waivers of various fees and charges such as stamp duty and legal fees.