Lease buyback scheme is extended to all HDB flats: Lawrence Wong



SINGAPORE: The Lease Buyback scheme will be extended to all flats for housing and development (HDB), including apartments with five and more rooms, the national development minister, Lawrence Wong, announced Monday (August 20).

With the lease repurchase scheme, owners of older flats can sell part of their remaining lease agreement to HDB. It originally applied to four-room or smaller flats.

In a blog post after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's National Day Rally speech on Sunday, Mr. Wong said the move would "enable many more Singaporeans to benefit from the scheme."

"The LBS (Lease Buyback Scheme) is a good schedule, but it only applies to people living in four-room or smaller HDB flats, the original idea being that it would be more logical if those living in larger flats the right size.

"But there are seniors who prefer to stay old in their place, some also have grandchildren who regularly come to visit and want a larger space for the extended family," said Mr. Wong.

SHORT TERM MOVEMENTS

In order to improve Mr. Lee's announcements about upgrading older HDB flats and upgrading older HDB cities, Mr. Wong said shorter-term movements are going to be made to help seniors improve the value of their HDB flats for their unlock retirement.

READ: Why are HDB contracts for 99 years? PM Lee explains

He said, for example, that his ministry is looking for ways to improve the liquidity of the resale market for older flats to facilitate "right-sizing".

"CPF can currently be used to purchase older HDB flats, but is subject to certain limitations, which should ensure that buyers purchase a property for life without compromising their pension savings."

Mr. Wong said his ministry is working with the CPF Council to review and update rules to offer buyers more flexibility in shorter lease agreements while ensuring their adequacy of pensions.

He added that the government is taking important steps in the field of housing in order to prepare for the future in a responsible manner.

"These movements are the result of many months of intensive study by MND and HDB, and we have also gathered feedback and opinions from Singaporeans who have been very helpful in shaping our approach and thinking," Mr. Wong added.


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