The Alternative View to get correction order after implying HDB will profit from Ang Mo Kio BTO flats
Facebook page The Alternative View will be issued a correction direction under the law against fake news for a post that implied that the Housing Board was making a profit from Build-To-Order (BTO) flats in Ang Mo Kio.
Last Thursday, the page, which has more than 43,000 followers, published a post which included the headline of an AsiaOne article dated Aug 31 stating "Ang Mo Kio BTO flats: Strong demand for 5-room units despite prices of up to $877k".
The post had an image of Minister for National Development Desmond Lee holding a bag of money, and was captioned: "How much profit is HDB reaping from this?"
On Sunday, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said Mr Lee has instructed the Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (Pofma) Office to issue a correction direction to be displayed on the page.
The Alternative View will be required to insert a notice against the original post, with a link to the Government's clarification. It will not have to take down or edit the post, and the direction does not impose criminal sanctions.
MND said: "HDB will not profit from the sale of the Central Weave @ AMK BTO flats. In fact, it will incur a loss from this project."
It explained that the estimated amount to be collected from the sale is lower than the estimated total development cost of the project.
"If we take into account the CPF (Central Provident Fund) housing grants that HDB will extend to eligible buyers, the deficit is higher still," added the ministry.
MND also said that HDB incurs a deficit every year, largely due to the significant subsidies extended for new flats and the disbursement of CPF housing grants to eligible buyers.
Due to these grants, most first-time buyers use less than a quarter of their monthly income to service their housing loans, with close to 90 per cent of them servicing their HDB loans using CPF, with little or no cash payments, said MND.
For the financial year 2021/2022, HDB incurred a deficit of $3.85 billion for its Home Ownership Programme. The average deficit incurred by HDB in the last three years was about $2.68 billion per year.