Residents' wish turns old interchange into community hub

Residents' wish turns old interchange into community hub

When a bus interchange in Serangoon was moved and integrated with nex shopping mall, the Housing Board wanted to convert the vacated spot into a retail and F&B space.

But residents had for several years longed for three types of services: childcare, eldercare and health-care facilities. They often told their MP, Mr Seah Kian Peng, about their wish.

The Housing Board, along with the ministries of health and social and family development, explored the issue and produced a plan to turn the interchange into a community hub with infantcare, childcare and eldercare facilities, as well as a family medical clinic.

"Even though it's a big childcare centre, the wait list is 200 to 300, so it's in great demand," Mr Seah, the MP for Braddell Heights ward in Marine Parade GRC, said yesterday.

He was speaking at a media conference to announce that Minister for Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang would be making a ministerial visit to the ward on Feb 1.

The interchange conversion was one of two examples he cited to show how residents can come up with better ideas than grassroots or government agencies to improve the neighbourhood.

The other example he gave was how a resident's idea helped shorten the travelling distance between a block of flats and a bus stop.

Instead of constructing a long ramp for wheelchair users, a lift in an HDB block near the bus stop was reconfigured for their easy access. It will be completed by March next year.

Said Mr Seah: "(The projects) showed me a few things - that we must be prepared to listen because the best ideas may come from outside HDB or the grassroots.

"At the same time, government agencies like the HDB are prepared to listen and think out of the box."

This article was first published on Jan 24, 2015.
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