The Straits Times (Move to studio flats pay off for seniors – Thursday, 8 May 2014 – read it in http://news.asiaone.com/news/singapore/move-studio-flats-pays-seniors) reported the announcement made by National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a blog post that studio apartments can be bought by senior citizens aged 55 and above. These apartments will be elderly friendly with added features like “grab bars and alert alarm systems”. In addition, the report said that senior citizens tend to benefit if they already own larger properties and are downgrading to these studio apartments. They stand to make around $200,000 to $300,000 per flat. It is also heartening to note that instead of being in an old folks’ community which can be quite depressing for the aged, these studios will be integrated into the main community with medical centres, eldercare centres, childcare centres and shops nearby.
Young people have also expressed happiness with the situation. It means that more regular flats will be available to them when the senior citizens downgrade.
It is also good news for mature singles. The Straits Times report cited the example of a single retiree who has bought such a unit so it means that it is available to singles too.
The blog said that between “2006 and last year, 7,600 household” have booked these apartments.
It is good evidence that the government is indeed trying to meet the needs of a rapidly aging population. Our hope is that when demand picks up, the supply will be able to meet it quickly enough. It would be quite terrible for senior citizens to have to wait for years before they are able to get one. After all, time is not on their side.