Foreign workers at S11 Dorm in Punggol - 7 April 2020

With 20,939 confirmed cases, the Singapore government announced that they will start housing foreign workers at a vacant school and a former staff apartment at Ngee Ann Polytechnic:

“The workers will start living at the former Ngee Ann Polytechnic staff apartments at 90, 92 and 94 Kismis Avenue this week, while the former Nexus International School at 201 Ulu Pandan Road is being refurbished and will be ready in early June. The sites have a capacity of up to 1,000 beds each and will house healthy workers in essential services.”

The staff apartment is just at across the road from the polytechnic which is now closed.

With dormitory infections hitting over 500 every day for the past month, foreign workers living in these overcrowded slum quarters are being rehoused in accommodations over the country including army camps, HDB carparks, HDB void decks, HDB rental blocks and vacant buildings.

Many Singapore residents, including foreigners, living near the refurbished foreign worker accommodations however hope that such arrangement is only temporary and that they be returned to the dormitories once the coronavirus outbreak is over.

In Singapore, the presence of foreign worker dormitories always depress surrounding housing value because of security and cleanliness concerns in the neighbourhood.