Govt to consider all ideas on managing leases: Minister

The Government will consider all alternative suggestions and ways to manage the expiring leases of Housing Board flats, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in a blog post yesterday.

Mr Wong was responding to two separate policy proposals published over the last three weeks, recommending alternative solutions to existing public housing issues.

The Workers' Party working paper suggested, among other things, an alternative scheme to the current Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers), calling it Sers Plus.

Under its proposed Sers Plus, the Government need not secure a replacement site before launching Sers. This will speed up the urban renewal process.

Affected residents would be given priority and guaranteed placement of units under existing Build-To-Order and Sale of Balance Flats exercises, it said.

The other paper, jointly released by property consultant Ku Swee Yong, architect Tay Kheng Soon and economist Yeoh Lam Keong, proposed a one-time automatic lease top-up for ageing HDB flats, along with goverment-funded rebuilding of flats every 100 years.

Mr Wong said: "MND will consider all such feedback and ideas, and study them in greater detail."

He noted that both proposals share some common ground, recognising "the need for urban renewal in our land-scarce city" where "land can be recycled and new flats built for future generations".

He added: "This is the reason why so much of our land is on a leasehold basis, be it for private or public residential properties."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 17, 2019, with the headline 'Govt to consider all ideas on managing leases: Minister'. Subscribe