Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Grace Fu explains new housing initiatives

Senior Minister of State for National Development Grace Fu has explained further the need to cap the number of Permanent Residents in public housing estates.

Just this month, the government set the quota for non-Malaysian PRs at five per cent of HDB flats or a total of eight per cent of HDB blocks.

In an interview with MediaCorp’s Channel 8 Focus programme, Ms Fu said this is a precautionary measure to prevent a concentration of PRs, which might cause social problems.

She said the ministry takes a long term view in order to prevent this, even though Singaporeans have fed back that their flats might now not fetch as good a price.

Senior Minister of State for National Development Grace Fu said: “We have some Singaporeans coming to us and saying ‘I want to sell to a PR because the PR is giving me a better price than Singaporeans.’

“So even though we may not want to have many foreigners or PRs buying HDB flats, if you’re an HDB flat owner and when you’re selling the HDB flat, a PR is helpful for you as well. So for all our policies we try to take a very balanced view.

“We don’t want to have knee-jerk reactions to the property market. We want to make sure that our policy is sustainable in the long run, both in the up market and down market.”

Ms Fu added: “The hot topic has been affordability of flats and also what is the impact of foreigners on the prices of HDB flats. So I think we have explained that we’ll continue to focus on affordability. We’ll continue to push out the BTOs.

“We are also looking at how we could implement the quota for PRs. This is necessary because we find that there could be some congregation of permanent residents in some areas and before the concentration becomes a social problem, we would like to have some policies to address it upfront.”

Source: Channel News Asia, 24 Mar 2010

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