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Should Ang Mo Kio Sers flat owners have to top up cash for similar-sized replacement units?

TODAY’s report this week, on how some Ang Mo Kio residents whose flats have been selected for Selective En Bloc Redevelopment (Sers) are upset that they have to fork out as much as S$100,000 to get similar-sized replacement units, generated much discussion online. Here's what TODAY readers have to say. 

Should Ang Mo Kio Sers flat owners have to top up cash for similar-sized replacement units?

Some TODAY readers felt that the affected residents in the Ang Mo Kio estate (pictured) shouldn’t have to pay more for replacement flats, notwithstanding the fact that the new flats come with a fresh 99-year-lease, as Sers was imposed on them unilaterally. But others disagreed.

 

TODAY’s report this week, on how some Ang Mo Kio residents whose flats have been selected for Selective En Bloc Redevelopment (Sers) are upset that they have to fork out as much as S$100,000 to get similar-sized replacement units, generated much discussion online. 

Some TODAY readers felt that the residents shouldn’t have to pay more, notwithstanding the fact that the new flats come with a fresh 99-year-lease, as Sers was imposed on them unilaterally. 

Other readers said that there is little merit for the residents to expect special treatment since public funds are involved, but suggested that the Housing and Development Board (HDB) offer senior residents shorter leases or a lease buyback option so that they don’t have to fork out cash.

 

Should be a one-for-one replacement with no need to top up money because they are the ones asking you to move out. AARON MATTHEW LIM

If that is the case, the Government should give them a one-to-one replacement flat with the same remaining lease instead of a 99-year lease. Is that right? ROBERTO DE CAITO

If HDB wants to take back your house, it is only fair and logical to offer a one-for-one replacement, with size and location as close to your house as possible. RICK LIM

Rick Lim, are you, as a taxpayer, willing to subside these residents more? Don’t forget that the HDB has already given many benefits through Sers. It will be extremely easy for HDB to give this and that. But where will the money come from? Taxpayers. JOE TAN

I think it is not rational to get the same size in a replacement flat as demographics have changed over the past 50 years. CHUJUN HONG

Sers units need to be paid a premium or replaced one for one without top-up as it's not a case of willing buyer willing seller. It's a forced transaction. THOMAS TOH

Most had thought Sers was a good deal but the ageing population has thrown that off kilter. NICHOLAS LING

If the authorities want you to move and take over for whatever reason , they should ensure a similar sized flat is given without any top-up. Moreover, why does a 60-80 year-old want another 99-year lease and pay for it? How do the authorities propose a retiree pay for the balance when they are not earning an income? RUTHRA KANNAN

The owners should be offered some options, perhaps something like…

  • The current offer, where they may have to top-up for a similar-sized unit with a fresh 99-year lease
  • A replacement flat similar to current flat size, with no top-up, but with the current lease balance
  • A smaller new unit, with no top-up, but with a fresh 99-year lease FAZLIN JAYA INDRA

They are being forced to leave their homes. They should get a new home with no extra charges. There are still renovation charges that they will have to pay and the inconvenience of a move. PADMINI NAIDU

How about offering replacement flats with a shorter lease of 35 years for retirees? EL LOW

It’s like the Government buying your used car and offering you a new car in exchange. You definitely have to top-up, but HDB can offer to shorten the lease on the new flats and sell them to these Sers flat owners at a cheaper price. ETHAN LEE

It is good to have a fresh 99-year lease but to ask old people or retirees to top-up is beyond their means. One option is to offer shorter leases to this group in the new replacement flats or offer alternative locations under the Sale of Balance Flats so that no top-up is required. JOYCE TAN

A fresh 99-year lease at that kind of price is a good deal. After the five-year Minimum Occupation Period, the price of the new flat will go higher. Issue is that retirees may not need the capital gains. Perhaps the Government can offer a choice of 35-year lease at a lower price. NAZMI MUSTAFA

I think it is fair to top up a reasonable amount on a 43-year-old flat (92-93 sqm) to get a new flat (90 sqm) with a 99-year lease. RYAN CHNG

Maybe HDB can offer elderly owners a partial lease scheme of 20 years, 30 years, or the remaining lease of their current flat and pricing the new flat according to the lease duration. ROBERT KOH

People can also buy a similar size flat with a similar lease nearby. Expecting similar-sized replacement flats with an additional 40-odd year lease at no additional cost is not reasonable. JOYCE LEE

I hope the authorities do consider the need to be “fair” to taxpayers too and not just dish out higher compensation benefits to appease all affected residents. HASAN MUHD

For an elderly couple aged 50 and above, having a 99-year lease bears little meaning and significance to them. It’s not even certain they can live on to enjoy a third of that lease period. Furthermore, some things, you can't just put a value on. What value can you place on the bountiful memories that that home has brought to their lives? All the birthday and anniversary celebrations; the welcoming home of their newborn children and the passing of loved ones; all the laughter and also all the tears experienced within those walls that they have called home all those years. HILMI CAMOK

Some residents’ complaints sound to me like those who are not happy striking the 4D consolation prize and keep asking why they did not hit first prize. WESLEY ONG KAI MING

These comments were first posted to TODAY’s Facebook page. They have been edited for clarity, accuracy and length. If you have views on this issue or a news topic you care about, send a letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number. 

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hdb Sers public housing

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