HDB regulates rent for coffee shops, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

HDB regulates rent for coffee shops

Over the last five years, the Housing Board (HDB) did not increase rent for 97 per cent of the 374 coffee shops it owns when their tenancies were due for renewal.

But the other 402 privately owned coffee shop operators, as well as the stallholders that rent from them, must be allowed room to abide by market principles, Senior Minister of State for National Development Sim Ann told Parliament on Feb 7.

Ms Sim was responding to MP Yeo Wan Ling (Pasir Ris–Punggol GRC) who asked whether the Ministry of National Development (MND) will consider taking further measures to help stallholders of coffee shops keep food prices affordable in the heartlands.

Ms Sim said that over the last five years, the increase in the median rent of HDB rental coffee shops has been limited to 1.6 per cent at renewal, as part of efforts to help operators and stallholders in a rising cost environment.

HDB plays its part as a responsible landlord by keeping its rents stable and through the budget meal initial initiative, she added.

There are currently 776 HDB coffee shops, less than half of which are owned by HDB. The remaining 402 are privately owned. Since 1998, HDB no longer sells coffee shops and only rents them out.

In recent years, some privately owned coffee shops have made headlines after they changed hands for more than $40 million.

For privately owned coffee shops, Ms Sim said the HDB does not regulate stall rentals that owners charge as these transactions are private commercial agreements between the coffee shop owners and the store operators.

Coffee shops need to be operated by people in the trade, she added.

FOOD PRICESMinistry of National DevelopmenthdbSIM ANNYeo Wan Lingjamus limSINGAPORE PARLIAMENT