Recently our Housing Minister has raised hopes that mature estates may see more public housing (Built-To-Order) being built and that demand has been very well received.
The question facing our young working adults and young couples today is not about choosing between mature or new estate. The critical question today is about how much does it cost to get a roof over their heads. So that they can plan for the future better without the financial burden and stress.
When we have overvalued public housing then it becomes a financial burden so much so that we must maintain our careers long enough to sustain our ever rising mortgages. No wonder we have fewer and fewer babies because we need to work harder and longer to pay up over ever rising mortgages. And as we work harder and longer, our housing units gets smaller and pricer.
New things normally cost more than old stuff. But it’s ironic that old resale public housing flats (plus Cash Over Valuation) cost more than New HDB Flats. This is probably due to our government’s policy of ‘asset enhancement’. In the private residential market this phenomenon would never occur as all leasehold properties normally depreciate and do not command a price premium to new launched developments.
Another policy that seems to have its plate full is our Central Provident Fund (CPF) scheme. The CPF has more social objectives than it can actually handle. CPF used for investment purposes. CPF minimum sum (Retirement) raised to $131,000. CPF used as Medical insurance and healthcare & all CPF (Ordinary Account) funds must be used up before a loan can be disbursed when applying for public housing. All this through the use of one policy instrument to resolve all Singaporeans’ issues – Our CPF.
Public housing is a basic need that all citizens of the country deserve the right to have. Not to discriminate as if you are single, married or divorce. Not to discriminate if you are $3k income earner or $8k income earner. Not to discriminate and penalize with Resale Levy just because some need to upgrade or downgrade due to change of personal and family circumstances.
It is interesting to note that our Malaysian counterpart has come out with an ingenious idea to help their young citizens. Under the government’s new policy ‘My First Home Scheme’, young working adults today can buy a property without any down payment. 100% financing! For first time house buyer aged 35 and below. Household income not more than RM3,000. House purchase price from RM100,000 to RM220,000
Housing is a Basic Need, it is not icing on the cake. You can’t deny a Singaporean of a basic need just because they don’t conform to the ideal family types. We need to have our basic housing rights.