Friday, March 16, 2012

More choice for Sers flat owners

Straits Times: Thu, Mar 15
THE Government has given a boost to Housing Board homeowners affected by en bloc redevelopment of their estates.

They will now be given priority in the selection of any Build-To-Order (BTO) flat across the island, instead of just the replacement flats allocated to them near their current homes.

They will also receive concessions which could ease their financial burden in purchasing their new flats.

These include paying a lower resale levy upfront in some cases, or opting to defer payment of the entire sum. Resale levy is payable when an HDB homeowner buys a second subsidised flat from the Government.

Those above 55 will also be able to seek permission to dip into their Central Provident Fund (CPF) Retirement Accounts - a pool of money previously reserved strictly for their retirement needs - should their current finances prove insufficient.

The Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers) came under the spotlight in recent months after the Government announced it would acquire Rochor Centre in order to lengthen the southern stretch of the North-South Expressway.

The move affects 567 homeowners, some of whom have been living there for decades, as well as 187 shops and eating places.

Some residents have expressed reservations about moving into replacement flats reserved for them in Kallang, saying they are pricey and not an equivalent substitute for their centrally located homes.

Member of Parliament for Moulmein-Kallang GRC Denise Phua has also weighed in on the issue, asking the Government to provide higher compensation...

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Team Marshe
Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang
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