Updated: 05/09/2013 20:22

Mix of views surfaced at Singapore Conversation on types of housing

Mix of views surfaced at Singapore Conversation on types of housing

Scrapping the income ceiling for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats would effectively mean providing public housing -- or at least the first basic home -- to all Singaporeans. 

That was one observation made last night by Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Dr Maliki Osman. 

He was speaking at the latest Singapore Conversation on public housing. 

Some 50 participants discussed whether there are enough types of public housing in Singapore, and also whether Executive Condominiums (EC) and the Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) should be continued. 

Many felt that the mix of homes is just nice, adding that some Singaporeans buy DBSS or EC flats because the waiting time for a BTO flat is too long. 

The participants also debated the $10,000 household income ceiling for buyers of BTO flats, with some suggesting that the figure is too arbitrary and should be scrapped. 

"I think it's to make sure the person is not forced to buy the EC. They shouldn't restrict this through income ceiling, but look at the true affordability. What they really have in their CPF account, base on that then they gauge whether they can buy or not."

But Dr Maliki responded that Singapore has to be mindful of the implications of such a move. 

"The fact that you say that there shouldn't be any income ceiling, you are effectively saying that the government should provide first housing for every singaporean, literally, 100 percent. That's a policy position we really need to talk about, what are the implications for that?"

Some also said there should not be subsidies for buyers of ECs, as they can potentially sell the home at much higher prices. 

Dr Maliki welcomed the diversity of views, saying they highlighted the complexity of striking a balance between meeting needs and aspirations.

Latest Photo Galleries on xinmsn