No plans to buy back unsold flats due to Ethnic Integration Policy

Romesh Navaratnarajah4 Oct 2018

The policy was introduced in 1989 and ensures there is a balanced mix of ethnic groups in HDB estates.

The government has no plans to buy back flats from homeowners who claim they are unable to sell their units due to the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP), said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Tuesday (3 Oct).

“The saleability of a flat in the open market is dependent on many factors, not just the EIP,” he said in responding to MP Lim Biow Chuan’s suggestion to help non-Chinese homeowners who are unable to sell their flats due to the EIP.

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“While homeowners may have their own expectations of how much their flat can sell for, flat attributes such as location, storey height, physical condition, remaining lease and market sentiments would naturally be considered by prospective home buyers.”

Introduced in 1989, EIP ensures that there is a balanced mix of ethnic groups in HDB estates.

“The EIP is an important policy that is applied to all ethnic groups consistently,” noted Wong.

“It applies to the sale and purchase of all new and resale HDB flats, and is implemented for all ethnic groups.”

He noted, however, that those who are struggling to sell their flats may be given an extension of time by HDB, while advising them to be realistic with their asking prices.

“HDB will continue to exercise flexibility for households with exceptional circumstances,” he added.

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Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email


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