Public housing is a success story unique to Singapore. Over the years, we have provided affordable and quality homes for the vast majority of Singaporeans.
Now, we are planning ahead for the next phase of our public housing programme, especially as our population ages and our building stock gets older.
At the National Day Rally yesterday, PM sketched out MND’s plans to systematically upgrade older HDB flats, and progressively renew and rebuild older HDB towns.
These are long-term plans which will be implemented over several decades.
Meanwhile, MND will be making several shorter-term moves to help seniors unlock the value of their HDB flats for retirement.
To facilitate right-sizing, we are looking at ways to improve the liquidity of the resale market for older flats.
Currently, CPF can be used for the purchase of older HDB flats but subject to certain restrictions. These rules are meant to ensure that buyers purchase a home for life, without compromising their retirement savings.
But there is scope to provide more flexibility for buyers of shorter-lease flats while safeguarding their retirement adequacy. So we are working with CPFB to review and update the rules.
For those who wish to continue living in their homes, they can still monetise their flat by selling part of their remaining lease to HDB, under the Lease Buyback Scheme or LBS.
The LBS is a good scheme but it only applies to those living in 4-room or smaller HDB flats. The original thinking was that it would make more sense for those living in bigger flats to right-size. But there are seniors who prefer to age in place. Some also have grandchildren who come over to visit regularly, and would like a bigger space for the extended family.
After considering the matter carefully, I have decided to extend the LBS to all HDB flats, including 5-room and larger flats. This will enable many more Singaporeans to benefit from the scheme.
These moves are the result of many months of intensive study by MND and HDB. We have also been gathering feedback and views from Singaporeans, which have been most helpful in shaping our approach and thinking.
We have provided a broad outline of the key changes over the coming years and decades. Much work still lies ahead to flesh out the policies and work through the implementation details. We will continue to engage and consult Singaporean in this process, to pool our ideas, and translate the plans into reality.
Let us continue to work together to build a better home for ourselves and for future generations of Singaporeans.
Please visit MND Facebook to leave a comment!