Saturday 29 December 2012

CPF Housing Grant

Retirees are buying already-subsidised new flat

MR CHANG Fook Keong wrote that he was denied a housing grant as he and his wife are retirees, in his letter ("Denied housing grant - Reason given: We are retirees, first-timers claim"; Dec 18).

Mr and Mrs Chang are the owners of a five-room HDB flat in Depot Road, which has been fully paid up. They applied for a new five-room flat in Bukit Merah under HDB's September 2012 Sale of Balance Flats exercise. They are eligible to buy a subsidised flat from HDB; their eligibility is not affected by their retiree status.

However, whether they will be able to book a flat will depend on their balloted queue position, just like all other flat applicants.

If they are successful, they will enjoy a government subsidy that is implicit in the pricing for all new flats, as the prices are well below the market prices of comparable resale flats in the vicinity.

The CPF Housing Grant, which is meant for the purchase of a resale flat in the open market, is not applicable for the purchase of a flat from HDB, as flats sold by HDB directly are already at subsidised prices.

Loh Swee Heng
Director (Sales)
Housing & Development Board
ST Forum, 28 Dec 2012

Denied Housing Grant
Reason given: We are retirees, first-timers claim

MY WIFE and I have applied for an HDB flat as joint first-timers and have been given a flat selection date in February next year.

As we have never owned any private property before, we were surprised to learn from a Housing Board sales officer that we do not qualify for any housing grant even though this will be our first purchase from the HDB.

The reason: We are retirees and have not been employed during the past year.

We do not see the logic of this. Both of us are Singaporeans and have not benefited from any HDB housing schemes.Yet we are denied a housing grant.

Isn't such a grant meant to help Singaporeans purchase their first flats?

Is it fair that a retired couple is unable to enjoy the benefits of this grant just because they have not been employed in the past year?

Even Singaporeans buying units under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme and executive condominium projects are able to get housing grants.

Does it mean they need more help whereas retirees like us do not?

It is ironic that some of these people, who can afford to buy even the penthouse units in the executive condominium projects costing well over $1 million each, qualify for the housing grant but a retired couple does not.

Chang Fook Keong
ST Forum, 18 Dec 2012

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