HDB to review if target group for Lease Buyback Scheme needs to be expanded

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will review whether the target group for the Lease Buyback Scheme needs to be expanded.

The Scheme, launched in March this year, allows low-income elderly living in smaller flats (2- and 3-room flats) to sell the remaining leases to the government in return for annuities.

In a written response to a question in Parliament, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said the HDB has received more than 2,000 queries, showing good interest in the scheme.

Out of the 409 applications as at end August, 82 have been approved and these applicants have received their upfront payout of S$5,000 and they will receive an average monthly S$570.

Seven per cent of the applications were rejected – most of these applicants had either enjoyed more than one housing subsidy, or had previously owned bigger flats or properties.

Another 17 per cent of applicants have been asked to delay their application till upgrading in their blocks or estates have been completed, to ensure a clear valuation on their flats.

Mr Mah said that in the meantime, the HDB will consider appeals on a case-by-case basis.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 15 Sep 2009

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