21% of households successfully appealed for the lifting of ethnic quotas, Politics News & Top Stories


Around 21% of households successfully appealed for an Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) waiver on their Housing Council apartments last year, up from 14% in 2018.

Last year, the Housing Council received 500 such calls, with more calls coming from sellers of minority races. The 500 appeals represented about 2% of the 23,100 resale requests filed over the past year.

National Development Minister Desmond Lee gave these figures to Parliament yesterday, in response to Ms Cheryl Chan (East Coast GRC) who asked about assistance given to minority vendors who may find it difficult to sell their apartments because of the EIP.

Introduced in 1989, the EIP sets ethnic quotas on apartment ownership within each HDB block and neighborhood.

Mr. Lee acknowledged that PIA is an “intrusive social policy” with “rough edges” that can cause difficulties for some homeowners seeking to sell their apartments.

For example, when the EIP limits are reached for an ethnic group, sellers of other ethnic groups are unable to sell to buyers of that group. With a small pool of eligible buyers, sellers may then have to lower their asking price or take a long time to sell their apartments.

But Mr Lee noted that in these cases, buyers would benefit from a lower resale price and therefore be less affected if they sold the apartment in the future. “But I understand that this brings little comfort to the sellers concerned – especially those who bought the apartment from the HDB, or in the resale market before the EIP limits were reached, and yet are now supported. by EIP limits, ”he said.

The HDB has shown flexibility for homeowners constrained by EIP on a case-by-case basis, Lee said. This includes giving sellers more time to sell their apartments, or even waiving EIP limits in exceptional circumstances.

“However, whenever the HDB waives the limits of the EIP to address its impact on certain households, it is aware that this may lead to even greater imbalances in the concentrations of certain ethnic groups in certain regions”, a- he added. “EIP is by no means the perfect tool, nor the only tool to promote racial harmony. We are very aware of tradeoffs and will continue to work to smooth its sharpest edges.”

Michelle ng

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