Have you heard? New measures have been announced to help Singaporeans at different life stages of their lives with their housing needs.
Greater Accessibility to Flats
Home seekers rejoice! There will be about 15,000 BTO flats on offer in 2019, including 2,000 flats with shorter waiting time for first-time buyers. Multi-generation families can look forward to a larger supply of 3Gen flats as well.
From May 2019, HDB will be announcing upcoming BTO projects 6 months before they are launched for sale. Currently, BTO projects are announced 3 months in advance. This gives you an additional 3 months to plan ahead and consider which town to apply for. The waiting time for your ballot results will also be halved, from 6 weeks to just 3 weeks!
|Flat Buying Process
|Information on BTO Projects
||Available 3 months prior to sales exercise period
||Available 6 months prior to sales exercise period
||Waiting time of 6 weeks
||Waiting time of 3 weeks
From mid-2019 onwards, flat buyers can also apply for Re-Offer of Balance Flats (ROF) any time of the year, as it will no longer be pegged to BTO sales launches! Don’t worry if you do not know the difference between BTO and ROF, you just need to read this!
More Help for Families
Enhancements to Step-Up CPF Housing Grant
The Step-Up CPF Housing Grant (SUHG) of $15,000 will be extended to second-timer families who are upgrading to a 3-room new or resale flat in non-mature estates. Second-timer families living in public rental flats, and buying a 2- or 3-room new or resale flat in non-mature estates are now eligible too!
|Step-Up CPF Housing Grant
- Second-timer families living in subsidised 2-room flats buying a 3-room new flat in non-mature estates
- Second-timer families living in subsidised 2-room flats buying a 3-room new or resale flat in non-mature estates
- Second-timer families living in public rental flats buying a 2-room or 3-room, new or resale flat in non-mature estates
Details on the full eligibility criteria and the application method for SUHG are available here.
Enhancements to Fresh Start Housing Scheme
Launched in 2016, the Fresh Start Housing Scheme helps second-timer families with young children, living in rental flats buy a home of their own. To further assist these families, the scheme will be enhanced through:
- Set-up of Fresh Start Support Programme (FSSP), run by an appointed service provider, to help Fresh Start families in their journey towards flat ownership
- Special consideration for selected families who previously did not meet some of the criteria
- Increase in qualifying age limit for the youngest child to 18 years old
HDB will also be setting up a Home Ownership Support Team (HST) to render more support to aspiring home owners. The HST will provide them with advice on housing budget and options, available grants and schemes, and guide them through the flat buying process.
Increased Priority and Assistance
More families with children can enjoy priority and assistance for their flat purchase soon, as the cut-off age for the youngest child has been increased to 18 years old for the following schemes:
- Parenthood Priority Scheme
- Fresh Start Housing Scheme
- Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (Divorced/ Widowed Parents)
Shorter Waiting Time for Vulnerable Families
To smoothen the housing transition for divorcees, divorcing parties will no longer have to wait until they have obtained the Final Judgement of divorce in order to apply for a flat. Instead, starting from the May 2019 sales exercise, they can apply for a new flat if they have obtained an Interim Judgement of divorce, and have resolved matters related to their matrimonial property, and the custody, care and control of their children. They must meet the eligibility conditions applicable to all flat applicants, and must have also obtained the Final Judgment of divorce before key collection for the flat that they had booked.
With these newly announced measures, Singaporeans can be assured of having a home at every stage of life! Remember to pass the word along to your friends and family.
This article was adapted in collaboration with MyNiceHome, HDB’s official website for all things related to home buying and renovation in Singapore.