MP Louis Chua

Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis asked the Minister for National Development with regard to residents who are affected by HDB’s Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) (a) whether the Government will consider providing a wider range of re-accommodation options in order to reduce or eliminate any cash outlay for those impacted, and for retirees in particular; and (b) what are the options currently being contemplated by the HDB, if any.

Mr Desmond Lee: The Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) was introduced in 1995 as part of our estate renewal strategy for older HDB estates. It allows us to renew older estates, optimise land-use, and provide better homes for residents. 

On top of compensation for the SERS flat which is based on the prevailing market value of the flat as at SERS announcement, and additional benefits such as a SERS grant of $30,000 and a removal allowance of $10,000, flat owners are offered new replacement flats that come with fresh 99-year leases. These are priced with a generous subsidy, making their prices considerably lower than comparable resale flats in the vicinity. Alternatively, SERS residents can apply for new flats elsewhere under the Build-To-Order (BTO) or Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises, and enjoy a 10% priority allocation. They can also choose to purchase a resale flat, and will receive an additional amount of $30,000 on top of the SERS grant. Residents aged 55 and above also have the option to purchase a 2-room Flexi flat with a short lease.  

Holding size, location and other attributes constant, an older flat with a shorter remaining lease will have a lower market value than a younger one with a longer lease. For past SERS exercises, the flats had been younger, and the market compensation for flat owners had generally been sufficient for the residents to choose a new replacement flat of a similar type or size on a fresh 99-year lease. 

For the latest SERS exercise at Ang Mo Kio Ave 3, based on the estimated compensation amounts and estimated selling prices of the replacement flats, flat owners will generally be able to purchase a replacement flat of a similar flat type with the compensation provided, with a fresh 99-year lease, albeit possibly a smaller floor area. Nonetheless, we understand the concerns of flat owners, especially the seniors who have expressed that they do not wish to top up the payment for an equivalent flat on a 99-year lease as they have no need for such a long lease. Their priority is to secure a replacement flat of similar size, in surroundings familiar to them. 

Taking into consideration the views and feedback from the residents, MND and HDB have provided two additional housing options to meet the different rehousing needs of SERS flat owners. First, we will offer 3-room or larger flats on a 50-year lease at the designated replacement site, if this is able to last the flat owner till at least age 95. For the flat owners at Ang Mo Kio, a 50-year lease would be similar to the balance lease of their flats by the time they move to their replacement flats in 2027. In addition, we will also offer the seniors at the SERS site the option to take up the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) for their existing flat even though SERS has been announced. These seniors can then buy a short-lease replacement flat thereafter.

These additional options will be offered to eligible flat owners in SERS sites, starting from the SERS site at Blocks 562 to 565 Ang Mo Kio Ave 3 which was announced on 7 April 2022. 

Ministry of National Development
4 July 2022


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