Modify Sers to reduce speculative demand

I applaud National Development Minister Lawrence Wong for clarifying the 99-year lease issue on old HDB flats (Older flats 'can still be retirement asset'; April 13).

Long-time residents of old HDB flats acquired under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) should be allocated a replacement unit of a similar size in the redeveloped estate, but with a lease that is equivalent to the balance lease of the old flat acquired.

For example, if the acquired flat was 40 years old, the replacement flat after redevelopment could be granted with a lease of 59 years only.

At the end of the 59 years, these flats could be re-circulated to all applicants queueing for public housing.

Given the ageing population, there will be many citizens who wish to downsize to flats with shorter leases in redeveloped estates with enhanced facilities.

This will reduce the speculative effect created by applicants of Sers projects, yet maintain the true spirit of estate rejuvenation and the public housing objectives.

Sum Kam Weng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2017, with the headline 'Modify Sers to reduce speculative demand'. Print Edition | Subscribe