The Straits Times
Published on Jan 15, 2013

Don't let upgraders retain HDB flats


THERE has been much discussion on another property cooling measure that the Government should look into ("Tough action to cool property market"; last Saturday).

This involves HDB flat owners who upgrade to private property, and are still allowed to hold on to their flats.

These people have already enjoyed subsidised rates when they bought their flats directly from the Housing Board. By renting out their existing flats to finance their private property purchase, they are enjoying a "double subsidy".

They have also been provided with an additional "safety net" should the economy take a turn for the worse, as they can either sell their HDB flat or private property to realise monetary gains.

To curb rising home prices, the Government has barred private property owners from buying resale HDB flats for investment purposes, even though these buyers do not enjoy government subsidies by purchasing from the open market.

Similar curbs should be imposed on HDB upgraders.

Closing this loophole will provide more options for those in genuine need of HDB flats.

Ronee Lee