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 Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010

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puteh83
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PostSubject: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 10:43 am

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Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010


Author: admin



Dear Minister Mah, I write to register my protest against the response from your HDB Resale Department in regards to my appeal for a loan direct from HDB, as well as the general policies that are preventing me from providing for my family. My grouse with you are three fold: - Formulating policies that are making housing for Singaporeans unaffordable and unattainable - Adhering to those policies when confronted by genuine cases of hardship - Failing in your stated mission Policies, what policies?! The first policy that I call into question is the BTO scheme. The scheme has led to a failure to build enough houses to meet the increasing population, leading to an unsustainable rise in the cost of home ownership due to the supply-demand dynamic. Isn’t it true that from 2003 to 2008, the total population of Singapore increased by 17.6%, the number of HDB flats increased by only 1.2%?. Why was supply constrained, when it was obvious that demand was far out-stripping it?



The second policy that is proving to be detrimental to Singaporeans is the 35 year age barrier to buying a flat. It does not take into account the fact that there will be people like me, singles under 30 years of age, who are responsible for caring for their families. Do we not deserve the right to care for our parents, regardless of our choice to remain single? The third policy failure that is most apparent to me is the market based? Subsidy? Why is it that in the 80’s and 90’s, my parents were able to purchase their flats from HDB, and repay their mortgages within 10 years? Why did we divert from the cost-based scheme, when it proved so successful in meeting the housing needs of the citizens of this country? With housing pricing out pacing household income, Isn’t it time that you reassessed this policy?



There are many, many more policies that I could shoot down, but I think in the interest of brevity, the above should prove sufficient to get my point across? The very policies that were meant to meet the housing needs of Singaporeans are preventing the sons and daughters of this land from having a roof over their heads! Appeal to nowhere The summary of my situation is as follows: As a 30 year old Singaporean (born and bred), I am ineligible to purchase a house on my own due to one of the aforementioned draconian policies. To become eligible, I have to include my parents in my application. However, since my parents have taken two loans from HDB (a decade-and-a-half ago), my entire family unit is disqualified from buying from HDB (!?!).



My parents were part of the upgrade craze in the 90’s which was actively promoted by our government. They sold their second flat to move into a landed property. However, 2 major catastrophes caused us to lose that property:



1.) A failed business venture and

2.) My father had a heart attack



After we were evicted from that landed property (which was forcibly sold by the bank at a massive loss), my parents have been staying with my grandmother, while I’ve been putting up with a cousin. This is obviously not an ideal situation, and I seek to redress this situation by reuniting my parents and myself, instead of being at the mercy of our relatives. I think more than three years of putting up with relatives is long enough, don’t you? The biggest obstacle standing in my way is the archaic policies of the sole statutory board that is tasked with housing my family and me - the HDB. After my initial failed application for the Home Loan eligibility, I appealed the decision. I’ve tried to buy direct from HDB, but they said NO. I tried to buy resale from HDB, and they say NO. Now I’ve tried to get a housing loan from HDB, and they say NO again. I sense a pattern forming. The rejection of my appeal shows both a lack of empathy, an obvious lack of understanding the current situation on the ground, as well as an utter failure to carry out the duties of a Statutory Board whose primary mission is to provide affordable public housing for SINGAPOREANS.


Note the word Singaporean in the previous sentence. Not PR. Not integrated New Citizens. Not other rich foreigners with money to burn. But SINGAPOREANS. It tickles me something cruel to realize that according to your policies, PR siblings are eligible to buy flats from HDB, while my family, all born and bred citizens, is cast aside as an afterthought. Mission Statement: FAIL I find it the height of irony that on the HDB website, there are congratulatory banners for 50 years of good work (hints of Mission Accomplished, per chance?). I think it should be amended to 40 odd years of sterling work, and a decade of questionable results? On that same website, I came across HDB mission statement to provide affordable homes of quality and value and promote the building of active and cohesive communities? I am sorry to tell you this, but HDB is failing to fulfill its responsibility to the people of Singapore, of whom I am one (and I have the two-and-a-half of national service to prove it!) All I am asking for is the chance to provide for my family. I would like to clearly state that I am not asking for charity? I am asking to be allowed to provide a roof over my parents’ heads. You speak of cohesive communities; what community is more important than family? By forcing us to stay separated, you are contradicting your own words here. Maybe HDB should change its mission statement to?
Provide housing for the rich, as only they deserve to live happily ever after. Oh, and PR are welcome too!? Is it too much to ask for you to relax your unnecessarily strict rules so that I can get a loan direct from HDB, instead of being at the mercy of private banks (with the lesson of the US sub-prime crisis still fresh in the memory, can you blame me?), who are only allowed to lend me 80% of the cost of the house? And can you please advise me on what I am supposed to do when the majority of flats on the resale market come with $20K COV? Where am I supposed to get the kind of cash? How is that affordable? The situation is coming to a head soon? My grandmother is selling her flat to pay for her healthcare costs, and my parents will soon be homeless. As their only son, it is my duty to care for them. But how can I, when the cost of homeownership is so high? How can I when the cost of renting is escalating beyond my means? Should I invest in a big tent, and join the other families that are camped out at the beaches? There are so many questions in this email, and I fear that none of them will ever be answered.

Muhammad Nazeem
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mUAr_cHEe
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 11:09 am

Not trying to sound elitist, but i think said citizen is blaming alot of personal failures on the gahmen.

I do agree with certain points in the letter. but wad to do? suck it up and go along with it.
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Duval_S
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 11:18 am

One word......CHOICE....
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Gray
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 11:21 am

The author is only wanting to stay in a HDB, not condo or landed.

I think it is a fair request. After all, HDB is meant to provide affordable housing. Affordable means that even factory worker or road sweeper shld be able to afford and still send his two children to school.

If a normal working 30 year old with two parents cannot afford to buy, is it then still affordable?
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Golfnuts
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 11:21 am

Lol writing to him is a total waste of time.

I have my appeal to purchase a flat written back to me telling me I have rejected two selection slots. But the best part is my queue number is out of the range. The two time they ask me to go for selection is dor those left overs, low floor, bad facing etc. So why should one choose even when I need to pay the same amount that others are paying? But I am coming in as a left over selection? Last but not least, all the ballots and application are decided by computer. In other words, all application are like lucky draw...
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Golfnuts
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 11:24 am

Gray wrote:
The author is only wanting to stay in a HDB, not condo or landed.

I think it is a fair request. After all, HDB is meant to provide affordable housing. Affordable means that even factory worker or road sweeper shld be able to afford and still send his two children to school.

If a normal working 30 year old with two parents cannot afford to buy, is it then still affordable?

Hmm I like to stress another point... affordable during our parents era yes, cause in the end of their working status, they will be able to see savings from CPF. But I doubt it will be the case for the youngsters now.
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eden
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 11:45 am

seriously, are we the same as our parents? do we live in kampong and in zinc houses with farm animals as pets?

public housing.....should be affordable and yet provide excellent amenities?

by definition public housing should be to provide housing for the NEEDY.

can we say that the majority of people living in HDBs are needy?

HDB definitely as room for improvement but it is after all a govt body..which is supposed to be filled with red tape...blah blah blah...

the sooner HDB is able to separate itself from provide MASS housing to simply provide housing to the needy the better. that is where the focus should be (NEEDY) not the white collar worker that wants a unobstructed view of the reservior so that he can sell for SGD900,000.

i think in every case there is always a balance...it is never truely black or white.

JMHO...no offense to anyone, especially the one that sold his HDB for SGD900k
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weesern
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 11:46 am

ask them to take the pay of a factory worker and try tat for one year... maybe tats when they will realise how many people are sacrifised for building such a country. it applies for other countries as well.

If all of them really are there to help SG grow, money will not be a factor and we dun hv to fund them so much....
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kenji
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 11:54 am

People during the 80s and 90s has been selling their flats for a profit and went back to HDB to buy another 'subsidized' unit. most of them had since made money from the sales until all limitations imposed preveting people to go back to them.
Nowadays, buying and selling are so restrictive that people rarely can profit.
Until the new citizens paying high cov cosing the pricing to rise to a new height.
As a standard, u sell high, buy higher......
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tronos
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 12:34 pm

i believe the gov policies is to help those whom are less fortunate to start off with......with their grants and policies, i know many lower paid ppl whom can afford to buy an HDB flat AND THEN in the future able to sell it at a higher price to elevate their financial status so they are not always stuck at the financial disadvantage.

I dont think they made policies to help ppl who went bankrupt from failed business ventures, no matter how unfortunate. Not to be insensitive, how did they manage to lose their landed property? is it a case of stretching their asset to far? mortgage the house to get a loan?...anyway thats another topic

How many cases are there where BOTH parents have taken HDB loan twice, went bankrupt and lost their home, and have a kid that is not married? This is not a case of Gov not looking after the needy, its a case of a family that lost all their money and home due to a fail business and need some special help NOT to rewrite policies (suppose to be design for the beneift of the majority) for the whole country to take care of their situation
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GoLagiSlow
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 12:47 pm

Another interesting contradiction. Government keep encouraging family ties and breeding new generation... But newer units are getting smaller and smaller. Those in Sengkang / Punggol will know what I mean... How to house 3 generations?
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tronos
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PostSubject: Re: Letter to Mah Bow Tan: Singaporean unable to buy resale flat due to HDB policies April 15th, 2010   Fri May 14, 2010 3:41 pm

the old HDB flats have a long kitchen, long and wide enough to take a full swing (comfortably with a 7 iron) with a plastic ball and have space to see the ball flight...not sure in the new HDB design can do that or not.
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