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SG Housing dialogue focuses on elderly

Property Here - Friday, June 14, 2013

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By Nikki De Guzman:

Participants at the final session of Our Singapore Conversation on Wednesday believe that the government can do more to help the elderly monetise their flats.

According to media reports, some of the 45 participants called for the revision of the current HDB policies to cover more senior citizens, such as extending the Enhanced Lease Buyback Scheme to those owning four-room or even bigger flats, and bringing back dual-key units as part of the units offered.

Notably, dual-key units, which are available only in executive condominium projects, “offer an option to house up to three generations or perhaps more. So far, the new flat designs do not cater to that,” said participant Poon Kit Sun.

Participants alsosuggested airing television skits that will explain the board’s monetisation schemes in Tamil, Malay and Chinese dialects to help the government to better communicate with them. Some suggests setting up a centralised agency to help elderly subletters find suitable tenants.

Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin wrapped up the session explaining that the ministry will consider their views in its policy review. He also noted that not all seniors have to monetise their flats.

“Not everyone needs to necessarily sell their house. That's why all these options, we wanted to discuss today is what else we can do. Those who need, can then explore all these options to monetise, those who don't need then don't need to. That's perfectly fine,” he said, pointing that suggestions that were adopted will have to be funded by taxpayers.

Nikki De Guzman, Junior Reporter at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact her about this or other stories email