Not for love of money, but of Humanity. "Greater is he who works for the good of all, then he who works for the good of himself only" ~ Matthew 25:40: "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"- (NIV). I live in Singapore where the Emperor must not be disturbed.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SG Foreigner Public Housing Rental Levy (FPHRL): Please return HDB to ALL Singaporeans now.

SG Foreigner Public Housing Rental Levy (FPHRL): Please return HDB to ALL Singaporeans now.
"HDB plans and develops public housing towns that provide Singaporeans with quality homes and living environments."

At a time when the nation's birth rates are being stymied by the lack of affordable public housing, how can foreigner demand be prevented from skewing HDB flat prices?

How about a more egalitarian way of distributing public housing which adopts a more stable and progressive approach towards the provision of public housing in Singapore?

The following suggestions return HDB to its original mission of "Providing Affordable, Quality Homes" to Singaporeans and PRs:
  1. Owner occupancy ought to be promoted, as such, ALL HDB should thus for the consideration of property tax, be considered a 'primary abode' and thus be charged property tax at the usualdiscounted owner-occupied rate of 4%. Any OTHER residential property owned by a HDB flat owner(s) shall be for the purposes of taxation, be charged the higher non-owner-occupied rate of 10%.
  2. As 'subsidised' public housing is a limited commodity, no owners(s) should possess a 'subsidised' public property larger than the owners(s) maximal needs, defined as [800sq FT + X (300sqFT)], where X is the number of registered SC/PR owners of such a flat. i.e. a couple can own up to a maximum of [800 + 2(300)]= 1400sqFT sized HDB unit. - this is so that no SC/PR consumes in excess of his equitable share of 'subsidised' public property- in a state where land is limited and as a result of new PRs, young SC/PR couples now postpone marriage due to lack of affordable public housing; and so that large 'granny' units remain available to multi-tier families and not the fiefdom of landlords or other suspect use. {[800 + 2(300)] is a rough guideline, the actual numbers may be adjusted as appropriate.} This new guideline would give married couples (and those with larger families) an upper hand over smaller families and singles by ensuring that 'subsidised' public housing is optimally utilized. A public housing unit too big for the number of registered occupants is given between 6 months to 2 yrs, as circumstances require, to be disposed of- unless granted an exception as a case by case might requisite.
  3. Should the owner of the HDB want to rent out the flat or rooms, then the tenant(s) should preferably be SC/PR, however where this isn't the case, then foreigners may rent the HDB unit subject to a govt levy of 20%rental rate OR S$80/pax/month, whichever the greater, all of which subject to usual HDB crowd control rules. Proper registration with HDB about the details of this arrangement are necessary, fines and confiscations of property may be imposed for offenders.
  4. The a/m policies would make HDB's job of planning for population expansion easier and ensure efficient utilization of HDB apartments and that only SC/PR remain the primary users of public housing in Singapore. Singaporeans would always remain first class in their own country and foreigners wishing to enjoy the safe and secure environment here would have to contribute accordingly.
Minister Mah's new rules are NOT equitable as they are clumsy, somewhat unenforceable and serves little to clear old baggage- that of foreigners renting cheap 'subsidised' public housing and thus driving HDB prices at the expense of citizens who now have problems finding affordable housing for themselves, thus resulting in the postponement of marriage and in consequence, a dearth of babies in Singapore.

It is recently reported that "24,000 flat owners - own both private property and HDB flats." - how many of these flats are being rented out to foreigners to the deprivation of young SC couples? How many large HDB flats are being monopolized by individual owners for personal use or rental returns?
Would a HDB price correction of 20% occur now that rental returns from foreign lessees are taxed at 20%?

The MND must quickly implement the foreigner public housing levy as described above to level the playing field between SC, PR and foreigner ownership and use of 'subsidised' public housing programmes.

May all citizens in this world feel at home in their countries of origin.
May the Singapore citizen enjoy the privileges of citizenship, financial status notwithstanding.
May all Singaporeans feel equal in their own home country.

Majulah Singapura, I love Singapore.

Comments/ Responses?

Please scrap the stupid restriction on pte property owners buying HDB (within their entitlement-Pt2) as refered to in 'Don't deny investors a choice' and the silly 'no other property' rule (abroad inclusive) because it's 'over-consumption' and the 'foreigner demand' that pushes up HDB prices. The former is regulated by ownership entitlement restrictions, the latter by 'foreigner public housing rental levies'(FPHRL) and not airy fairy policies please.

'About Us> Our Role> Providing Affordable, Quality Homes': "HDB plans and develops public housing towns that provide Singaporeans with quality homes and living environments. " [HDB InfoWeb]
'Housing Prices affect Birth Rates as well... !!!': "The objective of HDB flat was originally meant to provide families a rooftop at a reasonable low cost. It has diverted so largely from its original objective in late years and this issue had affected many young couples especially local Singaporeans. I really strongly hope that the government would take measures to curb all these rising prices. " [REACH 16Sept2010]
'Not penalising private home owners': "About 3 per cent of HDB flat owners - or 24,000 flat owners - own both private property and HDB flats." [TDY 16Sept2010]
'YPAP leader and new citizen Sinha Shekhar complains about low rent of his resale HDB flat': "Mr Sinha also revealed that he owns a private property, implying that he bought the resale HDB flat NOT for staying but for renting and making money." [TR22June2010]
'Don't deny investors a choice': "Over the years, this "sandwiched" class of private property owners worked hard to pay for their homes with the intention to move to an HDB flat during retirement. The private property could then be rented out to provide a stream of retirement income. The new requirement has effectively killed the hopes of many such people." [ST 1Sept2010]
Posted to/ related posts:
21Sept2010: Not penalising private home owners
21Sept2010: Indonesian took up Singapore PR so he can buy resale HDB flat
21Sept2010 (edt): Gen Y here just can't settle down
21Sept2010: New measures to cool property market are dissappointing
21Sept2010: Mah Bow Tan - Demand due not just to immigration
21Sept2010: SG Foreigner Public Housing Rental Levy (FPHRL): Please return HDB to ALL Singaporeans now. 
SG forums:
21Sept2010 (edt): Ridiculous HDB Prices
21Sept2010: HDB flats – S’poreans come first?
21Sept2010: HDB policy on singles: Singaporean vs Permanent Resident
SG club:
21Sept2010: It's not fair, says private home owner
REACH forum:
21Sept2010 (edt): On HDB resale prices and temporary home for the newly-weds
21Sept2010 (edt): Re: New Rules on HDBs 5 yr MOP and Private Property
21Sept2010 (edt): HDB Valuation Prices is the Root Cause !!!
21Sept2010 (edt): Housing Prices affect Birth Rates as well... !!!

SBoyforums 21Sept2010: HDB Mortgage SLAVES

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