What is SERS?
The Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme is one of Singapore’s Housing and Development Board’s urban redevelopment strategies for maintaining and updating the city-state’s public housing flats in older estates.
This scheme was first launched in August 1995 and it entails a limited choice of precincts in older estates, which are demolished and redeveloped in order to make the most of the land, instead of upgrading the existing flats by means of the Main Upgrading Program and the Interim Upgrading Program. All inhabitants displaced by the redevelopment efforts are given a 99-year lease in new flats built in the vicinity. They can choose their units before they are released to the public. In addition, they are compensated financially and given housing grants for their new flats.
The subject of Selective En Bloc Redevelopment is one of controversy, as over the years it has encountered a lot of resistance based on concerns of majoritarianism. Under the 1996 Land Acquisitions Act, the Singaporean government is entitled to implement the SERS. As with most urban redevelopment projects, this power appeals to the principle of eminent domain. The 1999 Amendments to the Land Titles Act allow residential estates to be sold regardless if there are apartment owners who oppose the transactions, on the condition that the majority of the apartment owners rule against them.
Future SERS sites
For the year 2026, the HDB has planned the relocation of Paya Lebar Airbase to Changi Airbase, which will have the outcome of freeing up an area larger than Toa Payoh and Bishan (roughly 800 ha) for new offices, homes, and factories. A part of the land parcels are likely to be allocated for future SERS sites, with 40- to 70-story apartment blocks, which include Tampines and Marine Parade (the majority of the sites).
Owners of flats under the SERS whose flat was purchased directly from the open market or the Housing and Development Board using the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Housing Grant are exempted from resale levy.
Elderly owners of flats under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme who choose a studio apartment to replace their flat don’t need to pay the deferred levy/resale premium.
Owners of flats under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme who had previously sold a subsidised flat and are requested to pay the deferred levy/resale premium, are given appealing concessions according to their household status and dependent on their household income.