About 2,500 families have successfully applied for the Housing and Development Board’s Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) since it was launched in March 2009, according to a written parliamentary reply from the Ministry of National Development on Monday (8 January).
It stated this in response to a question from Gan Thiam Poh, Member of Parliament (MP) for Ang Mo Kio Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
Moreover, Gan asked about each applicant’s average payout, and whether the amount they each received has been impacted by the falling resale prices and rental income of HDB flats.
“The average LBS proceeds among the households who have benefited from the scheme to date is about $146,000,” replied the Ministry.
“The payout is dependent on the market value of the flat at the time of application. Specifically, the LBS proceeds (comprise) the market value of the flat with its full remaining lease, minus the value of the lease retained by the household and any outstanding monies due to HDB.”
Under this scheme, elderly owners can sell part of their HDB flat’s remaining lease and opt to retain a length of the lease based on the age of the youngest owner.
The proceeds from this will be used to top up their CPF Retirement Account (RA). They can then use their CPF RA savings to purchase a CPF LIFE plan, which will provide them with a monthly income for life.
To avail of LBS, all owners of a flat must reach the age of at least 65, and their combined monthly household income should not exceed $12,000. At least one of them must be a Singapore Citizen and they must not own a second property.
Furthermore, all owners must have fulfilled a Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of five years. The scheme is only applicable to four-room or smaller HDB flats, and there must be at least 20 years of lease to sell to the Housing Board.