Government will not buy back HDB flats unsold under EIP

EIP – Ethnic Integration Policy. Aside from the tenure of HDB flats and how those with a limited number of years left on their leases will be dealt with by the authorities, another question has been brought up for debate.

Can the government buy back flats from owners who are unable to sell their units due to the EIP restrictions?

EIP restrictions make it harder to find buyers for some resale flats?

The EIP was put in place in 1989 to help maintain a healthy and interactive mix of nationalities and races, essentially to promote racial integration. As such, the authorities are hesitant about amending the policy.

The EIP specifies the proportion of units within a HDB block which can be owned by a particular racial group.

Toa Payoh Lorong 2. Picture: iProperty

In recent months, however, some minority homeowners have written into the authorities to say that the EIP has restricted their options of finding a buyer for their flats.

In the past 3 years, since 2015,  HDB has received 1,600 such requests to waive the quota rule, but it does not look like change will happen anytime soon.

HDB has said that there are other factors affecting the sale of a flat, including location, the condition of the flat, the marketing and leasing sentiments for the moment and the price gap between seller and buyer.

National Development Minister Mr Lawrence Wong has said that some owners may have had higher expectations for their flats.

409 Choa Chu Kang Ave 3. Picture: iProperty

That said, he has also given the public the assurance that waivers will be made on a “case-by-case basis”, especially for residents who have other reasons preventing them from making a successful sale. Some sellers may have tried unsuccessfully for months, and even years to sell their HDB flats.

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