Forum: Return HDB to the original goal of affordable housing

I think the authorities need to return the Housing Board to its original goal - to give citizens affordable housing (More steps urged to keep flats in prime areas affordable, July 5).

Of course, the definition of affordable is debatable.

I bought my five-room flat in Jurong West in 1984 for less than $90,000 when I was 29 and working as a mid-level executive. I could comfortably pay off my loan in 10 years.

That is how I define affordable. Today, can a 29-year-old mid-level executive buy a five-room flat in a similar area and pay off his loan in 10 years?

If the answer is "no", then I think HDB has lost sight of its original mission of providing citizens with affordable housing.

Next, should we allow the lucky few who got new flats in prime areas to sell them at a handsome profit?

If the answer is "no", then HDB is again doing something wrong.

The solution could be to disallow flat owners from making a profit when they sell their flats on the resale market, which would automatically cool the whole market.

Make all flat sellers return the profits on their sale to HDB and keep only the original price they paid plus inflation. This would result in people not trying to flip properties to make gains and also means sellers have no incentive to sell high.

Anthony Bok

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