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Singles, seniors get more help with housing

– Monthly income ceiling for singles raised to $5,000 (formerly $3,000)
– Singles Grant raised to $15,000 (formerly $11,000)
– Joint singles & single buying with parent’s income ceiling raised to $10,000 (formerly $8,000)

Singles, seniors get more help with housing
by Ong Dai Lin

SINGAPORE – A day after increases in income ceilings for Build-to-Order (BTO) flats and Executive Condominiums (EC) were announced, singles also found reason to cheer as they will receive more help to buy a resale flat.

The Housing and Development Board announced yesterday that the monthly income ceiling for singles buying a resale flat under the Single Singapore Citizens (SSC) Scheme, with a Central Provident Fund (CPF) Housing Grant and an HDB loan, will be increased from S$3,000 to S$5,000. This revision applies to purchase of up to five-room resale flats.

The HDB will also raise the CPF Housing Grant from S$11,000 to S$15,000 for these singles.

For singles buying a resale flat under the Joint Singles Scheme (JSS) and those buying a resale flat with their parents, the monthly income ceiling for housing subsidies will be increased from S$8,000 to S$10,000. The former group will receive a CPF housing grant of S$15,000 – up from the current S$11,000.

And with the Ministry of National Development’s (MND) efforts to provide more housing options for Singaporeans, the elderly have also not been left out. The monthly income ceiling to buy a studio apartment has been raised from S$8,000 to S$10,000.

Describing housing policy as “a key expression of putting Singaporeans first”, Mr Lee Hsien Loong had announced in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday that the income ceilings for BTO flats and ECs will be increased to S$10,000 and S$12,000 respectively.

These changes came into effect yesterday, and are part of the sweeping measures Minister Khaw Boon Wan has introduced since he took over the national development portfolio after the May General Election.

Yesterday, Mr Khaw announced HDB will release a record 8,000 flats – 5,500 BTO flats and 2,500 flats under the Sale of Balance Flats exercise – next month. Another 4,000 BTO flats will be released for sale in November. The flats will be in different towns, such as Punggol, Sengkang, Hougang, Yishun and Jurong East.

Speaking to reporters after a visit to Pinnacle@Duxton, Mr Khaw said the income ceiling revision for singles applying under the SSC and JSS schemes “takes into account the salary adjustment over the years” and is “a reasonable” one.

Asked if the construction industry is able to cope with building 250,000 flats next year, Mr Khaw said with major projects like the integrated resorts completed, the industry is able to cope with the construction demand and not compete for the same resources.

Mr Khaw also said he would take his time in the review of the Design Build and Sell Scheme. “Until the market has stabilised, there’s no good reason to decide one way or the other,” he added.

But with both the income ceilings of BTO and DBSS ceiling at S$10,000 now, Mr Khaw felt it will offer homebuyers more choices.

Mr Khaw said the 50,000 flats that HDB will offer this year and next year would “largely” relieve the pent up demand for housing.

Based on HDB data, the latent demand for BTO flats is less than 25,000.

(via Todayonline)

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