Private developers may be needed for VERS

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Redevelopment works of older HDB towns will keep to the aim of providing affordable and quality homes for Singaporeans.

Private developers may have a role in the Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS), said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Monday (10 September).

In responding to a query from MP Cheryl Chan, Wong revealed that he “will not rule out the possibility of having private developers involved and we will study her suggestion carefully”.

“But let’s be very clear. Our aim is to redevelop public housing estates, so we will ensure that any redevelopment is done in a way that preserves the character of our HDB towns and supports HDB’s mission to provide affordable and quality homes for Singaporeans.”

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He noted that the scheme, which was introduced last month by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during the National Day Rally, will be launched in about 20 years’ time in order to pace out the redevelopment of older towns.

But unlike the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), which is limited to precincts where there is high development value to be unlocked, compensation for VERS will be less generous as the authorities would be redeveloping land that is more built up.

Several MPs have raised questions related to VERS, such as the computation of the compensation package, which precincts are eligible for it, and the options for residents who failed to secure VERS for their flats.

To this, Wong said the authorities need more time to work out the scheme’s many details, such as the extent of its coverage and computation of compensation.

“In particular, we will ensure that we implement VERS in a fiscally sustainable way, so that it does not become a burden for the next generation,” he said.

Wong noted that the government has set out ambitious housing plans for the next few decades, “whether they come to pass depends on our external, economic and financial situation”.

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Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email