Home ownership

Renting will not cultivate a sense of belonging

The issue of home ownership is about more than having an asset which may bring financial gains. It is the cultivation of a sense of belonging to the country.

Hence, I do not agree with Workers' Party MP Louis Chua's claim that home ownership is a preference and not a superior option to renting (WP's proposal to expand public rental scheme could weaken communities, says Sim Ann, Nov 3).

I believe that having a stake in a physical property will encourage Singaporeans to have a sense of belonging.

Elsewhere in the world, young people are frustrated with their inability to own property. They feel let down and bear indignation against society. Some seek greener pastures in other countries.

If the majority of Singaporeans live in rented premises, there will be no pull factor for them to remain in Singapore. Some may opt to buy a retirement home in a foreign country and will not hesitate to leave Singapore at the first sign of trouble.

The long wait for a rental flat which Mr Chua described could be a result of the Covid-19 pandemic causing construction delays for many flats, forcing people to rent.

Hence, the current high demand does not indicate that rental flats are gaining popularity as a lifestyle option.

A house is more than a home. The good and bad memories of days living together as a family in our own house are the roots that bind us to our homeland.

Foo Sing Kheng

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2021, with the headline Renting will not cultivate a sense of belonging. Subscribe