Extend Lease Buyback to cover bigger flats

In focusing on the needs of elderly folk ("HDB focus on couples, needy and elderly folk"; Jan 22), HDB has introduced the Lease Buyback Scheme, which allows the elderly to lease back their homes in return for a financial sum while continuing to live in their homes.

It has also introduced the Silver Housing Bonus scheme to help the elderly downgrade to smaller flats by selling their present bigger flats, using the net proceeds to top up their retirement account and get a cash bonus.

Eligible owners of all flat types can apply for the Silver Housing Bonus, but only those with four-room and smaller flats can apply for the Lease Buyback Scheme.  

Perhaps the Lease Buyback Scheme could be extended to those owning five-room and executive flats who may not want to apply for the Silver Housing Bonus for the following reasons:

First, moving to a smaller HDB flat may mean moving to an unfamiliar place.

Second, they may be living with younger relatives, so the smaller space would not be able to accommodate all of them.

Owners of bigger flats would enjoy greater financial help than those in four-room flats.

Gan Kok Tiong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 10, 2016, with the headline 'Extend Lease Buyback to cover bigger flats'. Print Edition | Subscribe