Final Our Singapore Conversation public session on housing focuses on elderly

More can be done to better connect and communicate with the elderly to help them monetise their flats for their retirement needs or move closer to their children, said many of the 45 participants at the last public Our Singapore Conversation (OSC) session on housing matters on Wednesday night.

Suggestions on how to better communicate with the elderly include setting up a centralised agency that could match elderly subletters to suitable tenants and airing television skits to explain the Housing Board's (HDB) monetisation schemes in Malay, Tamil and Chinese dialects.

Some also argued that current HDB policies could also be tweaked to get more senior citizens on board, such as extending the Enhanced Lease Buyback Scheme to those who own four-room flats and bigger, or even building more dual-key units to house multiple generations under one room.

Senior Minister of State for National Development Tan Chuan-Jin wrapped up Wednesday night's session at the National Library and said that their views would be taken into consideration. He also asked participants to consider that Singaporeans all had different needs and cautioned that many of the requests put forward would have to be funded by taxpayer monies if they were to be adopted.

The six public OSC sessions on housing covered different topics such as home ownership, different types of public housing, affordable housing, monetisation options for the elderly, cash-over-valuations and executive condominiums.

There was broad consensus on the increasing aspiration for Singaporeans to own their own homes and the need for the Government to lower prices to match such aspirations.