Public housing more than just a need: Maliki Osman

Minister of State for National Development Dr Maliki Osman said Singapore’s public housing policies are not only about meeting basic needs, but also about fulfilling aspirations, reported Channel News Asia.

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has been catering to the needs of the younger generation in search for a new housing landscape, he said on 938LIVE’s Talkback programme. He added that this is one of the reasons behind the government’s decision to raise the income ceiling for purchasing new executive condominiums (ECs) and Build-to-Order (BTO) flats.

On 23 August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced at the National Day Rally that the income ceiling to buy a new BTO flat will be increased to S$12,000 from S$10,000, while the income ceiling for ECs will be increased to S$14,000 from S$12,000.

Dr Maliki noted that there is a certain group of the population wanting to remain prudent despite having the financial capacity to acquire private property. “We are just expanding so a group can feel ‘I am not disadvantaged just because I earn more than others’,” he said.

“Because I want to be prudent, I want to be able to buy a flat within my means because I have other obligations. I have kids to raise and parents to look after, and because of that, I don’t want to over-commit myself to a property that’s more than what I otherwise have to purchase because I cannot purchase an HDB flat.”

Moreover, raising the income ceiling will enable more Singaporeans to enjoy the experience of living in public housing, said Dr Maliki.