Sales process will be tweaked

HDB is studying refinements to weed out non-serious applicants

I refer to the letters from Samuel Lee, “Oh, that elusive HDB flat” (March 28), and from Kalista Nisha, “Different families, different needs” (March 31).

We would like to clarify that the $10 fee payable for HDB sales exercises is to cover part of the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB) administrative cost in processing the applications. We agree with Kalista Nisha that the fee should be kept affordable.

While HDB has no intention of raising the fee, it is currently studying refinements to the sales process to weed out non-serious applicants or what Samuel Lee described as “people who apply just for fun”.

Samuel Lee suggested that HDB implement pricing guidelines for future Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) and Executive Condominium (EC) projects to ensure that the units are affordable. We would like to point out that in pricing DBSS and EC flats, the private developers would have taken the income ceiling criteria into account.

Only households earning up to $8,000 and $10,000 respectively are eligible to purchase new DBSS and EC units. Therefore, if private developers were to price their DBSS and EC units beyond the affordability of the target buyers, they risk not being able to sell these units.

HDB remains committed to keep public housing affordable to the vast majority of Singaporeans. Build-To-Order (BTO) flats sold by HDB will continue to be the mainstay of new flat supply. The DBSS was introduced as a niche scheme to cater to flat buyers who are prepared to pay more for a wider choice of flat features.

We would also like to clarify that DBSS flats are part of the overall public housing programme. Unlike ECs, DBSS developments will not be privatised after 10 years.

With regard to the Simei site for DBSS development, we are pleased to inform Samuel Lee that it has been released for tender on April 8. The tender launch was slightly delayed as more time than anticipated was needed to complete the necessary preparations.

Letter from Kee Lay Cheng
Deputy Director (Marketing and Projects) for Director (Estate Administration and Property)
Housing and Development Board

Source : Today – 9 Apr 2008

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