One of the issues residents in his ward have spoken about to Workers’ Party MP Jamus Lim is the intersection of family planning and housing access, he wrote in a Dec 5 (Monday) Facebook post.
“These (Anchorvale and Compassvale) residents expressed their concerns about the long wait for HDB flats,” Assoc Prof Lim (Sengkang GRC) wrote. He also said that because resale flats have reached sky-high prices, some young couples are unable to afford flats in this market.
“This, in turn, meant that young couples have been unable to move out, and start a family. It’s fair; setting aside the privacy needed to make a baby (you know, when a man loves a woman…), it’s still the case that many couples find the uncertainty of not having one’s own place very disruptive for family planning purposes.”
Moreover, Assoc Prof Lim said that he has “increasingly” been writing appeals for young couples who have already applied for housing multiple times, which has understandably had a negative effect on their morale.
“It’s hard not to empathize with how debilitating repeated rejections are,” he added.
The advice Assoc Prof Lim gives these couples is to “apply to both mature and non-mature estates, and both sales-of-balance as well as build-to-order offerings,” he added.
Nevertheless, even with these multiple options, “the long waits involved mean that many couples resort to applying while they are just dating. This requires a fair bit of foresight—and confidence in the relationship!—which could be a uniquely Singaporean problem.”
A commenter on the Sengkang GRC MP’s post remarked “The fact that there is a long wait means that the price is too low.”
Assoc Prof Lim answered, “it’s not possible to infer that a long wait implies that prices are too low because in this case, there isn’t a competitive supplier—only HDB sells HDB, and as the monopolist provider of public housing, it can determine pricing regardless of market conditions.”
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