Updated: 05/10/2013 02:13

Existing homeowners have to be considered when changing policies: Dr Maliki Osman

Existing homeowners have to be considered when changing policies: Dr Maliki Osman

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman has stressed that the interests of existing homeowners will have to be considered even as changes to public housing policy are being discussed. 

Dr Maliki noted that how the property market is managed will have an impact on current homeowners. 

For example, he said the prices of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats will have an impact on the resale market.

He was sharing his views at an Our Singapore Conversation on housing session yesterday.

Around 55 participants engaged in discussion on what types of public housing there should be in Singapore. 

Among the questions discussed - whether there are enough types of public housing in Singapore and whether the Executive Condominium (EC) and Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) should be continued.

Participants were also asked whether the current $10,000 income ceiling for BTO flats should be raised, lowered, maintained or removed. 

Some were in support of totally removing the income ceiling. 

One participant said that owning a HDB flat should be an entitlement of every Singaporean.

But Dr Maliki said Singapore has to be mindful of the implications of housing 100 per cent of the population. 

About 80 per cent of Singaporeans currently live in public housing. 

"The fact that you say there shouldn't be any income ceiling, you're effectively saying the government should provide housing, at least the first basic housing for every Singaporean literally. 100 per cent. Everybody is entitled to public housing. That's a policy position that we need to talk about.With 80 per cent, we've talked about variety of aspirations as well as the differential views, the differential expectations. With 100 per cent, there'll be a lot more complexities because different groups of people want different things. So that diversity is something that we have to pay attention to." 

In the coming weeks, other topics like the affordability of housing and monetisation options for the elderly will be discussed as part of the Our Singapore Conversation on housing series.

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