Parliament has passed amendments to the HUDC Housing Estates Act to allow Braddell View residents to have the option of privatisation, should they decide to do so.
Speaking in Parliament on Monday, Minister of State for National Development Lee Yi Shyan said: “Privatisation will allow Braddell View flat owners to own private housing and have control over the management and maintenance of their estate.
“However there’s also cost involved, hence it’s important that the Braddell View flat owners consider the benefits of privatisation against its cost and decide whether they wish to take the next step to privatise.”
“The CPF Board has agreed to allow the owners of Braddell View estate to use their savings in the CPF ordinary account to pay the lease top up premium and the related stamp legal and survey fees incurred in the privatisation of the estate,” he added.
Braddell View is the only HUDC estate that has not been offered privatisation under existing law.
The estate was built in two phases, in two land parcels and has two land expiration dates. Residents will need to top up the lease tenure of the land parcel with the shorter lease to align it with the longer one.
The changes will allow the Braddell View body corporate to levy contributions on the flat owners in order to pay HDB the lease top up premium, as well as determine how much of the premium each flat owner has to pay.
This will be done through a meeting convened by the body corporate and the decision will be made through special resolution.
Payment also has to be made within 30 days of HDB’s written request for payment, or within such extended time allowed by HDB.
MP for the area Hri Kumar Nair supported the move but also raised concerns.
“This bill is only the first step, it remains for the residents to collectively decide how it can be achieved fairly and there will no doubt be some who will not see this as being in their interest, that is their choice to make,” he said.
“From my interactions with residents, it’s clear to me that most do favour it. However there’s a real risk that many of them may nonetheless feel constrained to vote against privatisation for practical difficulties. Chief of these will be the premium they have to pay.
“This will be exacerbated by the sum some of them may have to pay, to top up the lease for phase one of the estate to make up for the difference in the two phases,” he explained.
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 9 Jul 2012