JIS News

The Rent Restriction Act is being amended to ensure that the rights of landlords and tenants are equally protected, and to provide the mechanism to enable speedy resolution of disputes.
This was disclosed by Minister of Water and Housing, Dr. Horace Chang, during his presentation in the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (June 4).
Dr. Chang said this amendment was necessary as, “while it is the dream of most persons to own their home, the reality is that, no matter what mechanism a Government puts in place to provide shelter, this dream will never be realized by all.”
“In fact, depending on the stage of life that persons are at, it may be more advantageous to pursue other forms of living arrangements. It is for this reason, that the Ministry is taking steps to revitalize and encourage new investments in the rental market,” the Minister added.
On another matter, Dr. Chang said the Mortgage Insurance Act has been introduced into the Lower House, and its accompanying Regulations have already been amended to increase the ceiling for secondary mortgage from $500 million to $2.5 billion.
“Among the benefits of the amendment to this piece of legislation are an increase in the amount of funds for primary financing, that can be made available to mortgage granting institutions, and greater coverage for risks in cases of default on mortgage payments,” Dr. Chang explained.
“This will lead to: reduced down payment for purchasers; a significant increase in the housing stock and by extension, more mortgages, which will increase the pool of funds available to support a secondary mortgage market,” he added.
Dr. Chang argued that the end result of these changes would be greater economic stability for the country, generated by the inflow of equity in the housing sector through the investments.

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