Screenshot of Lawrence Wong from Facebook

Minister for National Development Lawrence today (April 12th) introduced a new law forbidding second-timer families who just bought new two-room flexi flats and formerly lived in rental units to sell their flats for 20 years.

“Second-timer families who are on the Housing Board public rental scheme and get help to own a new two-room flexi flat, will have to live in the new flat for 20 years before they can resell it to ensure a stable home for the children.

…I think it’s fair they must be able to show a certain level of commitment towards homeownership.”

The new 20 years Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is four times the usual 5-year MOP imposed on all other HDB units. The new move will entrap poor families in their poverty cycle and kept them away from the benefits of asset appreciation where homeowners usually take advantage of property market cycle and profit from relocating to cheaper units.

To qualify for two-room flexi units, there are age requirements for parents and children, and they have to be second-timers who are living in rental flats. According to Minister Lawrence Wong, only 1,000 such needy families could potentially qualify.

Aside from the onerous rule, Minister Lawrence Wong said the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) will track the poor families for employment records.