Good news for first timers

This is the headline in Today paper. It reported that 95% of 4 and 5 rm flats in two BTO projects in Bukit Panjang and Jurong West will be set aside for first timers. So, should first timers be happy? What about those first timers that have been kicked out of the HDB queue and no longer eligible because of the low building rate in the last few years? Many young professional couples would have breached the salary ceiling after 2 or 3 years of work and if they did not get the flat in time, if they found a partner late, they will no longer be able to buy HDB flats even if they are first timers. And their plight is that they will be forced to pay through their noses for private properties. It is like hanging a huge debt on them just when they are starting a new life. It is a very cruel situation for young people to be forced to take up huge housing loans because of mismanagement in public housing policies, or is it an imbalance in supply and demand? And they have to pay the price for the imbalance. Where is the good news to this group of first timers? The media shall do a survey on how many young couples have been forced out of the system and put out a story on this. With housing prices shooting to the sky, every Singaporeans must be eligible to buy a HDB flat. They have served their time in NS, and are expected to fight to defend this country. Why should they be deprived of a public housing flat when new citizens who have not done any contributions to the country, no NS, are eligible to buy public housing?


Anonymous said...

The imbalance is caused by an act of god.

Wally Buffet said...

All I can say is that there have been "imbalances" all the time. The imbalance caused these young couples to be in hock throughout their lives by buying into private properties as they couldn't get to have a bite of the cherry let alone the allowed two. And they won't forget easily the injustice that befell them through incompetent planning and erroneous foresight.

The old HDB was way above the current one. In the old days, you go and register for a flat and you get a number for the chosen estate. When your turn came, you just choose your apartment. No BTO, no DBSS, no f@#king nonsense.

Come to think of it. The old days under the old guards were better days.

Now, there are so many tweaks and esoteric ideas that applying, renting, buying or selling is a maze to most.

A monkey trying to be smart to justify his banana.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

If I can remember correctly, under the old scheme, they take your salary at the time you register adn you can wait for your turn without losing your priority or being kick out of the sytem later when you waited too long and your salary shot pass the ceiling.

Under the new system, after every balloting you re apply again. You don't stay in the queue. And your new salary will be taken into account. So after a few tries and if one does not get a flat and the salary goes pass the ceiling, sorry lad. Out you go, too rich to buy HDB but too poor to buy private properties. And go hang a mill around the neck, and pray very hard that you don't lose your job in the next 30 years.

They need these young suckers to go to the private property market to raise the demand and support the private developers' profit margin. Of course it means that those who speculate in properties and owning many properties will love these young suckers.

Anonymous said...

To cut a long dissertation short, HDB needs a citizen like Redbean to plan for the citizen's housings.
He has a comprehensive understanding of the needs of the people, namely, the natural citizens. It will be better if he could be co-opted to be the Permanent Secretary of Social Development, if there is no such Ministry, the Authority should create one to accommodate him. Any seconder ? This is a sincere idea from another Singaporean.

Wally Buffet said...

Yes, and because Singaporeans are typically very choosy, they ended up with many unsold flats, exacerbated by bad development planning, under the old system.

But instead of offering carrots to entice the choosy Singaporeans to take up the flats, they chose the draconian measures as mentioned by you, resulting in these applicants getting the boot and having no choice but to buy private properties or condos. Although some had happy endings because of the current private property prices, I still think that the new system is wrong. It is punishing the new generation of young couples in getting a "subsidized" flat, which is their right, steering them into buying current high priced private properties and in the process, enriching the coffers of the developers who comprise most of the richest people in Singapore. See today's story in the MSM.

Wally Buffet said...

Anon 10:07

Perm Secs do not make policies. Ministers do. I second the proposal to have Mr. Chua made Housing Minister, a new post for a new age.

Hope he can settle down nicely and not have "heart" problems because it is a red hot and difficult portfolio. Housing is the most important thing to a Singaporean, next to Food and Cars, in that order.


Anonymous said...

Hehe! Good Morning to All.

So wonderful to read proposals to appoint my Fren Redbean to be incharge of Housings, he will do a great job, me can tell it in my bones.

Okay, a little observations from One of the Three Old Simple Folks. Me thinks it time to do away with income ceilings for HDB Ownerships. First, not much citizens have high incomes, two, if rich people wish to be frugal, it should encouraged and must be respected. Three, and the most important; they should be entitled like any other citizen in their First Time Application.

Chances of my Fren becoming a minister is non-existent, however, the Authority can make use of his understandings for free though he has the habit of asking a price/prize for services in his writings.

Three fools can make up to be a wise man or so i heard and there are hundreds in Cyberspace giving ideas and possible solutions to our parliamentarians and if they refused to listen and heed. Then me thinks we deserve to sink together.


Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hello frens, my legs are long enough. Stop pulling them ok: )

The problem with public policies today, in my view, is caused by vested interests. People are no longer objective when vested interests are at play. I can be biased too. Only too human.

Wally Buffet said...

"Those were the days my friend, thought they'll never end........"

Mary Hopkins' song reminds me of the way life was so uncomplicated then, including applying for an HDB flat!

I really pity young couples nowadays. A decent roof over their heads and four sets of wheels will bind them years in debt.

Anonymous said...

Bukit Panjang and Jurong West? Not so popular sites, I think.

Well, they obviously think beggars should not be choosers.

Now, if first timers do not take up those flats, the HDB and MND will have lots of reasons to silence critics.

Smart move!

Anonymous said...

Three points from me:

1. I thought first-timers mean first-time buyers. As long as you have not bought a flat from the HDB, you are still a first-timer, right?

2. I think we should not do away with the income ceiling but raise it so that more people from the lower income group can buy. If we dispense of it completely, they poorer folks will be competing with greedy cash rich elite brats.

3. I think the HDB should not allow PRs to buy flats directly from them. Only couples/family units who are all citizens should be allowed.

Lastly, a word of consolation to young couples. If young couples have it bad, singles have it worse.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

We are just affected citizens and are not paid to teach them how to do their job. But they must take note of some major considrations with regard to the well being of our citizens.

Serving NS is like a birth right of a Singapore citizen. And we expect every young men to defend this country with their lives, and with lifelong obligations and disruptions to their lives. What more sacrifices can we expect from our citizens. They deserve every right to buy a HDB flat. As for the singles, they need to tweak the rules to cater to their needs as well. They too serve NS and are expected to defend the country.

For first timers the salary ceiling is rubbish. Every young man and woman don't start work earning 4$k or $5k a mth, except for lawyers, doctors and the PhDs. Even the latter, they would not have the savings to pay for a private property without straining their little or no savings.

For the rest of the young people, they could hit the ceiling very quickly. And this becomes their fault and they are penalised! My God, how could we victimised our NSmen on such a flimsy excuse.

There must be further tweaking between PRs and citizens, including new citizens that don't have to serve NS. I am not advocating that they pay more. But citizens who have served NS must be entitled to a genuine subsidy for them to start their new life, and something tangible and personal to protect and defend for. If they cannot even get a HDB flat, then what, who and why should they be defending and dying for?

We have been bending backwards for PRs and new citizens and taking our NSmen for granted.

Anonymous said...

New citizens very grateful for the chance to buy direct from HDB. This means a huge savings. Then more savings from the lower interest rates on the housing loans from HDB.

Sorry to hear that some citizens cannot buy HDB flats.

Anonymous said...

Citizens are in fact discriminated against by employers for serving NS.

Employers are not stupid. The annual disruption of 2 weeks in-camp or 2 months, attending 2 days a week remedial training, for those who failed IPPT is the reason why employers favour foreigners.

The stupid excuse given is that employers, by law, must allow employees to go for NS or IPPT training. Which employer will want work delayed or disrupted.Only those no-brainer policy makers think it is of no consequence.

When it comes to protecting the nation, Singaporeans are the first to be sacrificed. When it comes to benefits, Singaporeans are the last to be considered.

Of course, most are still not as bad as those in the opposition wards, who also served NS but are discriminated against blatantly.


Anonymous said...

The group of researchers and staff at the Lee Kuan Yew School Of Policies Studies must be a group of 'chia liow bee'.

The Policies implemented the last many years only caused hardships to the people. And now it is not difficult to know why. The Staff there must have been selected based on their intellectual characters.


Matilah_Singapura said...

There is no "perfect solution" to public housing, or public anything for that matter because govt public policies are utilitarian in character -- they are designed to benefit (or penalise) groups of people such that the overall result is the best benefit for the mot people. Objectives in public policy are achieved by force not voluntary individual action.

Add to that the political slant on all public policies: vote for us, we'll give you such-and-such.

So the best thing any govt can do is make the (what seems to be) the "best" out of an impossible situation.

At least there is more supply coming to the "market" if one could use the word "market" in a govt monopoly.

Arguing that NS men are "entitled" to stuff is a nonsequitur. The biggest value thing NS men has taken from them is their freedom. That is the nature of state military conscription, which is why I hold the opinion that to be a responsible parent is to find ways of getting your son out of NS -- including emigrating to another country where human rights are better respected and enforced under law

My opinion on this move: govt gets credit for making the best out of a lousy situation -- a situation supported politically by the will of the people -- i.e. the majority of voter want HDB.