Minister Wong extends lease buyback to larger flats and says public housing a success SG story

Right on the heel of National Day Rally yesterday night, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong announced on MND blog today (20 Aug) that he would now extend the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) to all HDB flats, including 5-room and larger flats.

He wrote, “For those who wish to continue living in their homes, they can still monetise their flat by selling part of their remaining lease to HDB, under the Lease Buyback Scheme or LBS.”

Previously, LBS only applied to those living in 4-room or smaller HDB flats.

“The original thinking was that it would make more sense for those living in bigger flats to right-size. But there are seniors who prefer to age in place. Some also have grandchildren who come over to visit regularly, and would like a bigger space for the extended family,” he said.

“After considering the matter carefully, I have decided to extend the LBS to all HDB flats, including 5-room and larger flats. This will enable many more Singaporeans to benefit from the scheme.”

Lease Buyback Scheme

Through LBS, one will be able to tap on one’s flat to receive a stream of income for retirement while continuing to live in it.

The owner can sell part of the flat’s lease to HDB and choose to retain the length of lease based on the age of the youngest owner. The proceeds from selling part of one’s flat lease will be used to top up one’s CPF Retirement Account (RA). The person can then use his or her CPF RA savings to purchase a CPF LIFE plan, which will provide the person with a monthly income for life, while still staying in the flat.

Under this scheme, the owner can no longer sell his flat in the open market.

Work together to build a better home

In his blog, Minister Wong also touted that public housing is a success story unique to Singapore.

“Over the years, we have provided affordable and quality homes for the vast majority of Singaporeans,” he wrote.

He told Singaporeans that the Government is making significant moves on housing to “prepare for the future responsibly”.

“We have provided a broad outline of the key changes over the coming years and decades. Much work still lies ahead to flesh out the policies and work through the implementation details. We will continue to engage and consult Singaporean in this process, to pool our ideas, and translate the plans into reality,” he said.

“Let us continue to work together to build a better home for ourselves and for future generations of Singaporeans.”