An option, not a last resort

WE REFER to Mr Quek Soo Beng‚s letter “A second chance at home” (Feb 10), on the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS).

The LBS is a generous scheme specially designed to meet the needs of the elderly. It allows them to continue living in the same HDB flat and neighbourhood, while leading a more financially secure retirement.

It is an option to unlock the value of the flat, in addition to subletting a room or downgrading to a studio apartment. It would be a missed opportunity if elderly home owners see the LBS only as a “last resort” for “dire circumstances”, to quote Mr Quek. We hope that those who are eligible will seriously consider whether the scheme suits them.

Mr Quek has suggested for the tail-end of the flat lease to be redeemable by lessees or their family, some time after they have signed on to the LBS. We will study this idea as part of the review of the scheme, taking into account public feedback after its launch. HDB will also continue to reach out to the elderly to enhance public understanding of the scheme.

We thank Mr Quek for his views.

Lily Wong Jee Choo
Deputy Director (Policy and Property)
Housing and Development Board

Source : Today – 23 Feb 2009

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