A decade of failed public housing policies
With only a couple of weeks in office, Koh Boon Wan has virtually overturned many of the old housing policies of his predecessor and frantically trying to make up for lost time to make good what had went wrong drastically. Would the changes in housing policies be good enough evidence of the mismanagement of public housing or just a change of policies and nothing more? The decade of under building of public flats and the influx of foreigners have caught many first time buyers of HDB flats sleeping. Many did not really understand what was happening and were caught napping through no fault of theirs. As a consequence, many ended up buying excessively priced flats or missed the boat altogether. Many too have to put off plans for marriage, for starting a family, while some were forced to buy resale flats at higher prices or private properties at even higher prices. The net result is that many young people have to pay overpriced properties and cleaning up their savings. Those that missed the boat are just as bad as the little savings they stinged to save can never make up for the runaway prices. Could the victims of the decade of misguided public housing policies find recourse or reprieve in some way with new policies that will recognize their plight? Many have been forced out of the market for not being able to buy a HDB flat when their incomes were within the HDB ceiling. Is it their fault? Would there be an amnesty of sort to let these victims of past policies back into the public housing system? Or would it be a case of just too bad, caught by wrong policies at the wrong time? Or would some wise guy quip, ‘It happened, let’s move on? How flexible and people centric will the new regime be to the victims of flawed policies?