CNA | 16 November 2012 1657 hrs

Singapore: National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said flat owners affected by the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) are given a generous package.

Under SERS, selected old sold flats are redeveloped to optimise land use.

It’s one of the government’s renewal plans for old public housing estates.

Flat owners affected by SERS can upgrade to new flats in nearby locations, with a fresh 99-year lease.

Mr Khaw told Parliament that residents are fully compensated for their existing flats and paid reasonable expenses for their relocation.

They are given assured allocation of new replacement flats at subsidised prices.

Flat owners who are eligible for a subsidised flat are also given a further 20% price discount off the Built-To-Order (BTO) prices.

Mr Khaw said this further marks down the already-subsidised price of the new HDB flat.

“The price discount, at up to $30,000 for a family, is comparable to the CPF Housing Grant for first-timer families buying a resale flat” said the Minister in response to MP for Moulmein-Kallang GRC Denise Phua who asked the government to consider bigger discounts for new replacement flats in SERS projects.

Mr Khaw said the discount cap ensures that SERS flat owners enjoy consistent benefits, as those with the means to buy the bigger flat-types will get the same discount as the other SERS flat owners who buy smaller flat-types.

“In addition, the middle- or low-income first-timer families may apply for the Additional CPF Housing Grant or Special CPF Housing Grant totalling up to $60,000 to help them buy a replacement flat.

“HDB also provides a concessionary housing loan to eligible SERS flat owners” he told Parliament, adding: “The basic CPF grant has stayed put, but the total grant has increased.”

Mr Khaw said the HDB reviews its policies regularly to ensure that they remain relevant and meet the needs of residents.