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Buying studio unit one of several ways for seniors to monetise flats

We refer to Mr Jack Koh Chin Guan’s letter “Studios for seniors are too restrictive” (April 30).

Lily Chan-Wong Jee Choo, Director (Policy & Property),
Housing and Development Board

We refer to Mr Jack Koh Chin Guan’s letter “Studios for seniors are too restrictive” (April 30).

There are various monetisation options for elderly flat owners to unlock the value of their flats and supplement their retirement income, should they need to.

For example, if the financial consideration is paramount, they could consider subletting a spare room or subletting their whole flat while staying with their children. In this way, they can collect rental income while enjoying family support.

For those who wish to live in the same flat and estate, they could consider the enhanced Lease Buyback Scheme if they are eligible.

If they prefer to live independently, they may wish to move to a studio apartment or a smaller flat and take up the Silver Housing Bonus if eligible.

Each monetisation option has its unique set of features. The elderly should choose one that best meets their needs and priorities.

Since its introduction, the studio apartment has been a well-received housing option, with the majority of units taken up at each launch.

Mr Koh may have concluded that the take-up rates are low by looking at the current units available for the three recent studio apartment projects.

We would like to clarify that these are not the final take-up rates. The selection exercises of these projects have just begun and only a small proportion of the studio apartment applicants have been invited to select a unit thus far. The actual take-up rates for each project will only be known at the end of the selection exercises, in about two months’ time.

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