April 5, 2008

HDB reviewing application process

THE Housing Board is in the process of reviewing its current application process, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan disclosed yesterday.

This follows recent public concerns that the thousands of applications that pour in for an HDB project bear little relation to the actual take-up rate of flats.

HDB's latest condo-like flats, City View @ Boon Keng, for example, sold only 250 or so out of 714 units, despite receiving 3,500 applications.

Eligible buyers pay $10 to enter a ballot for HDB's sales exercises. This assigns them a queue number to select a flat in a particular sales project.

Mr Mah acknowledged it was frustrating for some couples in the queue - who might have missed out on selecting a flat because of the high numbers - and said there was a need to address it.

'I've asked HDB to study this to discourage people from giving up their flats, or chance, so easily.'

The idea is to have a queue that ensures that when buyers get to the front, they book the flat, said Mr Mah.

'That will be fair to people in the queue, and good for HDB, to get some certainty about the supply and demand situation.'

More details on the review will come at a later date, he said.