Pulau Ubin will remain in "rustic state" but residents will have to pay rent

Kampung residents on Pulau Ubin who have to pay rent from now will pay an estimated $6 to $35 per month in the first year, with 90 per cent paying less than $20 a month. This rent, which is subsidised, will be increased to the market rent gradually over five years to assist the residents, said the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) and the Housing Development Board (HDB) in a joint statement on Wednesday.

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Here is the joint statement from SLA and HDB:

There has been confusion caused by the Notice of Census Survey that was served on 22 households in Pulau Ubin on 12 March 2013. We would like to reiterate that:

i) the residents in Pulau Ubin can continue to stay on in their premises; and

ii) the planning intention is to keep Pulau Ubin in its rustic state for as long as possible, to serve as an outdoor playground for Singaporeans.

Land in Pulau Ubin was acquired by the State in 1993 to enhance the recreational facilities on the island. These included an expansion of the Outward Bound School training grounds and the National Police Cadet Corps' camping facilities. The projects were carried out to allow more people to explore the island and enjoy its natural landscape.

As a result of the above, the land on which the residents are occupying on Pulau Ubin became State land. Some of these residents are eligible for but have not claimed resettlement benefits all these years. The benefits comprise monetary payments and priority for HDB flats. The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) thus embarked on an exercise to regularise this. SLA appointed the Housing Development Board (HDB) to carry out the census survey, which commenced on 3 April 2013 and will complete by June 2013.

Staff from SLA and HDB were on site to explain to residents the purpose and intent of the exercise. They also explained to the households that there was no plan for eviction. In addition, a contact was provided for residents who needed further clarification.

The Notice of Census Survey that HDB served on the residents made reference to the past planning intent, which was originally described in 1993 as the development of an adventure park. We acknowledge that the notification could have been more carefully worded and the language updated to reflect the eventual development. We apologise for the anxiety caused to the residents involved.

Residents can continue to remain via a Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL) as there are no other plans for the State land in the foreseeable future. The TOL fee is determined based on the gross area and land area occupied. To assist the residents, the TOL fees will be phased in over five years. This means households will only have to pay the full TOL fee in the sixth year. The estimated fees during the first year will range between $6 per month and $35 per month, with 90 per cent paying less than $20 per month. From the sixth year, the TOL fees will range between $31and $205 per month, with 90 per cent paying less than $120 per month.

SLA and HDB will continue to engage and explain to the residents about the resettlement benefits and TOL arrangements. Most of the residents have in fact contacted HDB for a site appointment.

Life at Pulau Ubin
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