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HDB offers option of shorter 50-year lease for some SERS flat owners after concerns of Ang Mo Kio residents


LEASE BUYBACK SCHEME

For SERS flat owners who are at least 65 years old, they can consider taking up the Lease Buyback Scheme if they are eligible and have not done so.

Under this scheme, flat owners can retain a lease length that will cover them and their spouse until they are at least 95 years old and sell the remaining tail-end lease to HDB.

The proceeds of this sale will be used to top up their Central Provident Fund (CPF) Retirement Account and buy a CPF Life plan that will provide them with a monthly payout for life.

They will also receive a cash bonus of up to S$30,000 for flats that are three-room or smaller, and S$15,000 for four-room flats, for the CPF Retirement Account top-up.

The market compensation for the lease retained under the scheme can then be used to buy an equivalent replacement flat of the same lease length and up to the same type, HDB said.

“For example, a four-room flat owner who has retained a 30-year lease under LBS (lease buyback scheme) can buy a four-room flat with a lease length of 30 years at the replacement site,” it said.

If the SERS flat is a three-room flat with a floor area that is at least 10 per cent larger than the new three-room flats offered at the designated replacement site, the flat owner may buy up to a four-room flat at the designated site.

ANG MO KIO SERS PROJECT

SERS was introduced in 1995 as part of the Government’s efforts to renew older housing estates. Under the scheme, residents are offered new homes nearby, while the old site will be redeveloped.

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Before the Ang Mo Kio site was announced on Apr 7, the last SERS project was in MacPherson, announced on May 31, 2018.

On Saturday, HDB said that for the past SERS exercises, the market compensation for flat owners, together with the SERS grant, had “generally been sufficient” to cover the purchase price of the replacement flat of a similar type or size on a fresh 99-year lease. This is because the SERS flats were generally younger at the point of the SERS announcement.

The affected flats in Blocks 562 to 565 Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 are about 43 years old, having been completed in 1979.

HDB said its representatives have conducted door-to-door house visits on Jul 2 to explain the additional rehousing options to residents of the four blocks in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3, as well as to address concerns that they may have.

“HDB will continue to ensure that public housing remains affordable and accessible for Singaporeans, and review our policies over time, making adjustments where necessary to ensure they remain relevant to the needs of Singaporeans,” it added.



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