9,200 HDB flat owners have taken up lease buyback scheme since 2009

9,200 HDB flat owners have taken up lease buyback scheme since 2009

On Mr Liang’s query as to how the Government can promote the scheme, Mr Lee said that the numbers “have been growing over the years partly due to greater awareness” but also because of adjustments made to the scheme over the years.

He said that the ministry works with media outlets and organises public talks and seminars in English and vernacular languages. Interested seniors can call the HDB branch service line to arrange an appointment as well, Mr Lee added.

Mr Liang also asked if the ministry could provide assurances to those who are worried they will outlive the remaining 30 years of their lease.

Under the scheme, flat owners can choose to sell 35 years of their lease to HDB, keep the remaining 30 years and get a bonus.

In April 2020, the maximum bonus was increased by 50 per cent across all flat types to $30,000 for three-room and smaller flats, S$15,000 for 4-room flats and S$7,500 for five-room and bigger flats.

Mr Lee said that the Government will work with flat owners who outlive their lease on relevant top-ups so they can continue living in their homes.

He added: “Secondly, that is precisely why we have a home-for-life requirement, so you have to choose the right lease to retain. But that must take you to at least 95 and that provides some assurance.

“Of course, longevity is a blessing and we’ll make sure that for seniors who outlive their lease, with the necessary top-ups and support, we will be able to provide them with housing.”