AHTC to raise service and conservancy charges from Oct 1
The Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) is increasing service and conservancy charges (S&CC) for its residents and tenants twice over the next year, with the first increase to take effect from Oct 1.
In a letter to residents seen by The Straits Times, AHTC said it is raising its monthly fees due to unprecedented inflation and high operating costs. The last time it raised S&CC was in 2018.
The Workers’ Party-run (WP) town council said it will write to all individual households and tenants in due course to provide details on the quantum of the increase. Those who face difficulty paying their S&CC monthly can contact their MP or any AHTC office for help, it added.
AHTC’s announcement comes after town councils under the ruling PAP had earlier announced that they were raising their S&CC rates from July 1.
The next phase of fee increase for both AHTC and the PAP town councils is July 1, 2024.
ST has contacted the WP for more details, including whether S&CC will likewise go up for residents and tenants under Sengkang Town Council, which is also run by WP MPs.
In its letter, AHTC said it has been facing increasing cost pressures since the last fee hike in 2018.
Noting that inflation rose to a 14-year high in January 2023, it said that cleaning and utilities expenses have risen substantially due to the spike in electricity tariffs, manpower wage growth and supply chain challenges. Tender prices have also gone up significantly.
Lift expenditures have also risen, with the town council noting that Aljunied-Hougang is a mature town with many flats built more than 30 years ago.
With many older blocks having undergone the Lift Upgrading Programme, there are now more lifts throughout the town, which adds to lift maintenance costs, it added.
The coming years will see electrical system upgrades, plumbing projects, reroofing of blocks, and repair and redecoration (R&R) works. In addition, about 990 lifts are also slated to undergo the Lift Enhancement Programme in the town.
“In view of the high inflation and cost pressures, AHTC will continue to explore new cost-saving initiatives,” it said.
“However, the gap for AHTC to remain fiscally and financially robust to implement the cyclical works in the years to come could only be bridged with an increase in S&CC fees.”
AHTC said it sought residents’ and tenants’ understanding of the need to raise S&CC fees.
On June 1, PAP town councils announced that S&CC would go up for Housing Board residents, shops, offices, markets and food stalls due to rising costs.
The July 1 increase saw monthly fees rise by between 70 cents and $7.90 for HDB flats. Commercial property owners and tenants saw an increase ranging from one cent to 40 cents per sq m. Market and food stalls had their fees hiked between $2.20 and $31.50.
The next hike on July 1, 2024, will see fees for HDB residents raised by between $1 and $9.10. Commercial property owners and tenants will see an increase ranging from two cents to 41 cents per sq m. The increase for market and food stalls will be between $2.20 and $36.40.