From October, contractors who carry out pre-cast production locally may also apply for additional supplies of concreting materials – cement, sand and aggregates – at protected prices, beyond the amount that they had earlier opted for in their tender.

“This protects our contractors against material price fluctuations and potential supply disruptions for concreting materials, as the risk is borne by HDB,” said the agency.

HDB noted that since January, the prices of steel and concreting materials have risen by about 25 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

The various measures rolled out so far are aimed at minimising delays to Build-to-Order (BTO) projects, said Minister for National Development Desmond Lee in a Facebook post.

“The construction industry has been badly battered by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Mr Lee said. He noted that manpower shortages, supply chain disruptions, rising material and shipping costs, as well as stringent public health measures have put “significant strain” on local contractors who find it a challenge to keep to project timelines.

“We recognise that these delays have also affected home buyers and disrupted many of their life plans,” he added.

“We will do our best to assist affected homebuyers. HDB will continue to keep homebuyers updated on the completion date of their new flats through letters as well as the My HDBPage as construction progresses.”

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