The following is a letter sent by Leong Sze Hian to the Straits Times’ forum:
THE Housing Board’s clarification (‘HDB clarifies rule on siblings’; Monday) that unmarried siblings below age 35 – be they citizens or permanent residents (PRs) – can apply to buy HDB resale flats if their parents live overseas and do not already own a public flat, is odd.
The public and real estate industry are largely unaware that unmarried citizen siblings below age 35 can apply and be considered on a case-by-case basis.
By contrast, it has been common knowledge that two PR siblings below 35 years of age can buy a resale flat. How would citizen siblings apply when few citizens know about it?
Could the HDB publish the statistics as to how many citizen siblings have applied and how many cases were approved?
In the article, Dennis Wee Group director Chris Koh was quoted as saying that less than 5 per cent of HDB resale flats sold fall into the siblings category. Can the HDB reveal how many PR siblings have bought resale HDB flats?
It is hard to agree with the HDB’s view that its rules treat citizen and PR siblings similarly.
For instance, it is almost a given that the parents of most PR siblings would be overseas and do not already own an HDB flat, whereas much fewer parents of citizen siblings would be abroad and do not own an HDB flat.
Even with this latest clarification from the HDB, on its website, the criteria to buy resale flats still do not state anything about unmarried citizen siblings, under age 35, being able to apply if their parents live abroad.
Leong Sze Hian