VERS announced early to alleviate worries over HDB lease expiry

Eugenia 23 Aug 2018

More time is needed to fine-tune the details of the newly-announced Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS) for HDB flats such as the price to be offered by the government and whether all public housing will qualify for it, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong told Channel NewsAsia on Tuesday (21 Aug 21).

“It would be rash to rush into details now when some of these things can only happen decades from now. Let’s not get too excited about what is going to be in the VERS package or which flats will get it or speculate unnecessarily,” he said.

On Sunday (19 Aug), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced several new initiatives for HDB flats. Among them is VERS, which will allow homeowners to vote on whether to sell their HDB flats to the government once the lease nears its end.

Residents can then expect to utilise the proceeds to fund the purchase of a new home, but the scheme will only commence in around 20 years time, once the age of an HDB block hits 70 years.

More: Home buyers looking for HDB flats may like to visit our Listings

“Obviously there is a lot of interest in the details but this is a very long-term commitment and we will have to study how the implementation is to be done in a way that is financially sustainable,” Mr Wong explained.

He revealed the government’s reason for announcing VERS early, even though its particulars are still being deliberated, is to alleviate the worries of some homeowners on the issue declining lease of HDB flats.

“If we were to hold back and only reveal or announce VERS when the details are ready, that might be 15 years from now, so people might be living with 15 years of uncertainty.”

He is also disclosed that the government has been looking into this issue over the last two years. 

Queried on whether the authorities will ask the President to use some of the accumulated reserves to finance the scheme, Wong only said that VERS needs to be financially feasible.

“It is a significant fiscal expense and whatever we do we will have to make sure that fiscal arrangements for VERS are sustainable, and do not put a heavier burden on the next generation. So those are part of the details that we are working on.”

More: Can you afford an HDB flat? Check your affordability now. 

On the proposal to allow CPF monies to be used when buying HDB flats with remaining leasehold tenure of 30 years, he said the CPF Board needs to complete the study on this first.

Currently, the authorities disallow CPF monies to be used for purchasing HDB units with such tenures, while there are limits on the amount that can be used if the remaining lease is below 60 years.

“I’m sure Singaporeans know that there is balance to be struck (with retirement adequacy) so we are taking in all the considerations and seeing how best the rules can be updated,” Mr Wong added.

Eugenia Rosaline Shlaen edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email

Mark JJ
Aug 24, 2018
The worst (VERS) is yet to come. After all the efforts of the first class honours scholars this was the best name to come up with ? Man, their hard work is really paying off.

You may also like these articles

Home Improvement Programme to be expanded to benefit 230,000 HDB flats

View of HDB flats in Toa Payoh.UPDATED: In his National Day Rally speech on Sunday (19 Aug), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the Housing and Development Board's Home Improvement Programme (HIP) wi

Continue Reading20 Aug 2018

PM Lee sheds more light on 99-year leases for HDB flats

PM Lee noted that Singapore would run out of land for new public housing if the government sold HDB flats on a freehold tenure.With over 80 percent of the population living in Housing and Development

Continue Reading20 Aug 2018

Response to VERS to depend on govt’s offered price for HDB flats

The response of HDB homeowners to the newly announced Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS) will hinge on its particulars, property experts told TODAYonline.“It boils down to how (it) will be

Continue Reading21 Aug 2018

Lease buyback scheme to be extended to all HDB flats

Elderly owners of large Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats can look forward to monetising their flat by selling part of their remaining lease to the government. This comes as the Lease Buyback

Continue Reading21 Aug 2018