Elderly S'poreans mull over Silver Housing Bonus

Many elderly homeowners are still not ready to leave their HDB flats for the Silver Housing Bonus, which gives them the chance to unlock their savings by downgrading to a smaller flat.

Only a few among over 30 owners in Toa Payoh, Queenstown, Tampines and Serangoon found downgrading an attractive idea. Among their concerns was the inconvenience of relocating, while some argued that they want to remain close to their children. They also want to stay due to the familiarity established with their current neighbourhood, aside from not needing the money as of now.

Nonetheless, many residents praised the scheme, which was announced by Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, as the right move.

Under the new scheme, the government will offer a S$20,000 bonus to Singaporeans aged 55 and above who choose to sell their current HDB flats and move to smaller units. They will get S$15,000 in cash and the remaining SS$5,000 will go to their Central Provident Fund (CPF) accounts.

Many of the residents interviewed feel the S$15,000 bonus would be a viable option for those who needed cash, particularly with the uncertain economy and high living costs.

"The cash paid upfront would be good for those with financial difficulties," said Alan Foo, 75, who has a three-room unit in Toa Payoh.

While most residents listed sentimentality as the top reason for not wishing to downgrade, many were also hesitant because they were not sure how much cash they would get if they downgrade.

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