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Thread: En bloc worry

  1. #1
    tyong
    Guest

    Default En bloc worry

    En bloc worry

    Letter from HENRY LIM

    HANDSOME profits are the chief reason for en-bloc property sales having gained so much popularity. In the early days, en-bloc sales were confined mainly to old developments, with developers also taking the opportunity to build up their land banks.

    Over recent years, however, the main motivation has become the huge monetary gain from such sales, regardless of the age of the development.

    We have also seen attempts by homeowners going to court to stop such sales for personal reasons but without success, the argument being that the current law does not allow for personal reasons to override majority concerns.

    The en bloc fever has, unfortunately, caused some uneasiness among senior citizens who have hoped to live out their retirement years in their present homes and who view relocation as unnecessary and disturbing.

    Some senior citizens have downgraded to small private apartments for practical reasons. It is thus very upsetting if they find themselves having to relocate years later.

    My wife and I are among these. We recently moved to a small but comfortable apartment, hoping to live out our retirement without having to move again. Alas, we have just heard that our development is considering an en-bloc sale. We are very upset and anxious about what the future holds for us. I am sure many other senior citizens also harbour such anxieties, and look forward not to financial gain but to a peaceful retirement.

    In this respect, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has taken the lead with its Selective Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) whereby new apartments are built to relocate affected HDB owners before any redevelopment starts. It has made the relocation process more acceptable and convenient, especially to older folks.

    For private developments, I would like to suggest that a time bar be imposed before a development can be sold en bloc. Taking into consideration the needs of senior citizens and need for re-development of old properties, it would be reasonable to allow en-bloc sale if the building is more than 30 years old from date of completion. This advance notice would allow all owners to plan for their future accommodation, whether they intend to buy for short, medium or long term. If a person is over 50 and looking for a home to stay in till his last days, he should then consider buying a new property which will at least give some certainty that en-bloc sale will not take place for the next 30 years.

    I strongly feel that the authorities should review current rules governing en-bloc sale, to give due weightage to the concerns of senior citizens, while at the same time not stifle future redevelopment.

    Letter from SONAL MERCHANT

    I REFER to the letter, “Let the old live on their own” (Feb 22). The attitude portrayed in the letter saddens me. We are all social beings and our need for love, affection and the human touch does not change from the cradle to the grave.

    It is selfish to think that the elderly will receive more independence in an oldage home, and to wash our hands — in the name of socio-economic growth — of the responsibility we owe them.

    It is from the grandparents that children learn to love and care. How can we deprive them of this channel? How can we set such a bad example for our kids to emulate? Ultimately, it will boomerang on us and we will find ourselves deserted in an old-age home, waiting for the monthly visit from our family members or visits from volunteers to give us what our children failed to give.

    Think about it. It’s not a nice picture. Let us not confuse tradition with humanity.

    There are certain norms which differentiate us from the rest of the world. Let us not break those norms. If we are not careful, we might do irreparable damage to our social system because family lies at the foundation of that system.

    Family values are not a burden but an essential component of the overall growth and well-being of a country and its citizens.

    Let us not weaken those roots. Life is all about balance. Certainly, there are better ways to deal with the issue of a rapidly ageing population. Nuclear families might not be the best approach — we should give a chance to three-generation families. Many families have tried successfully.

    You too can try instead of disposing of the idea as unachievable or as part of human evolution. The language of love always stays the same, through all generations.

    Family values are not a burden but an essential component of the overall growth and well-being of a country and its citizens. Let us not weaken those roots.

    It would be reasonable to allow en-bloc sale if the building is more than 30 years old from date of completion. Don’t relegate the elderly to old-age homes – give three-generation families a chance Senior citizens look forward to peaceful retirement, not financial gain from en-bloc sales

  2. #2
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Default Re: En bloc worry

    dun worry be happy. got money, take lah!

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