Raise more awareness of lease buyback scheme

I AM glad that the greater flexibility and enhancements to the lease buyback scheme have allowed more elderly home owners to benefit, thus giving them greater assurance for their retirement ("More home owners opt for HDB lease buyback"; June 13).

However, in my work as a grassroots leader, I have gathered some feedback from residents.

First, could the Housing Board extend the lease buyback scheme to five-room HDB households, too, so that more seniors can benefit from the scheme?

There is the option of residents downgrading to a smaller flat, but this might mean that seniors would have to move to a different area.

As the Government encourages "ageing in place", extending the scheme to five-room flats would allow more seniors to continue living in a familiar environment, with the community network they have built up over the years.

Also, many seniors are not familiar with the various options in place to unlock the value of their flats to meet their retirement needs.

I hope government agencies will continue to generate greater awareness, and collaborate with community partners, such as grassroots organisations, to organise talks that target senior residents.

There should also be a thorough explanation of the scheme to interested seniors, not just on the details but also on its implications.

Simon Neo Say Leng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 26, 2015, with the headline ''. Print Edition | Subscribe