News: Seniors have options to unlock value of HDB flats

Sep 11, 2018

Seniors may choose to rent our a spare bedroom or sell part of their lease back to HDB.

HDB flats provide a nest egg to seniors for their retirement needs, and the authorities have introduced many schemes and programmes to monetise such properties by then, according to National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

“For example, seniors can rent out a spare bedroom or right-size to a smaller flat and apply for the Silver Housing Bonus (SHB). They can also sell part of their lease to HDB under the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS). We recently announced the extension of LBS to five-room and larger flats so that more Singaporeans can benefit from the scheme.

“Government upgrading programmes will also help to maintain the value of the HDB flats, and ensure they remain safe and liveable through their lifespan,” said Wong during a parliamentary session on Monday (10 Sept).

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In line with this, he revealed that the authorities will carry out the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) for the next batch of HDB flats constructed from 1987 to 1997. They will also implement a second round of HIP upgrading when the properties are 60 to 70 years old.

Wong said this in response to Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC MP Alex Yam Ziming, who asked whether the ministry can clarify what HDB flat owners at different life stages should do to ensure they have a home for life and also an adequate nest egg for retirement, in light of the various new initiatives on public housing.

Wong noted that the authorities have put in place policies to help Singaporeans meet their housing needs at different life stages.

For instance, the government provides generous housing grants to young citizens buying their first HDB flat, and such homes are sold at subsidised prices. Thereafter, some families may opt to move to a bigger flat, or live close to their children or parents.

“They should be in a good position to do so, as they would have enjoyed some appreciation from their first flat.  We also have schemes to help them live near their parents or married children, such as the Proximity Housing Grant, which was enhanced earlier this year,” added Wong.

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Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email

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