Mixed reactions to helping families live close together

Mixed reactions to helping families live close together

In an effort to strengthen family bonds, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan suggested measures to help more Singaporeans live with or near their parents - but they have drawn mixed reactions from property analysts, agents and buyers.

His most controversial suggestion was giving "absolute priority" to those applying for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in the same estate as their parents - which would do away with balloting for these applicants.

While many were in favour of families living close together, some argued proximity to one's parents should not trump other reasons for getting a flat, such as being near schools or workplaces.

Others believe that such a priority system might be abused.

"It is not very fair to those whose parents do not currently reside in mature estates, especially the popular mature estates such as Tiong Bahru, Queenstown..." said OrangeTee's research head Christine Li. "It could even lead to unnecessary over-consumption by those who do not need public housing, but just want the flat due to the premium location."

Key executive officer of Horizon Real Estates Lena Low agreed: "Of course it'll be abused. It's giving too much priority to being close to parents. Others will have no chance to live in these areas."

Ms He Qing Pei, 24, who is searching for a flat with her 27-year-old boyfriend, said: "Proximity to parents is a factor when choosing a flat but not the most important factor for me."

The management trainee lives with her parents in Boon Lay, but wants a home in a central location like Toa Payoh. "It's unfair if they make it the top priority and diminish other people's chances."

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