Meeting More Housing Needs in 2013
 
Date issued : 08 Mar 2013

 Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan announced in Parliament today several new housing measures to help first-timers, second-timers, divorcees, singles, and the elderly.

a) Extension of the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) to all first-timer married couples
    – To provide an additional housing option to first-timer married couples who are awaiting the completion of their BTO/SBF flats

b) Extension of the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) to expectant mothers
    – To help first-timer married couples expecting children buy a home sooner

c) Quota of 2- and 3-room flats in non-mature estates Build-To-Order (BTO) flats for second-timers doubled from 15% to 30%; 5% of the 30% quota will be set aside for divorced/widowed second-timers with children below 16
    – To help vulnerable second-timers right-size

d) Reduction in the time bar for divorced couples to each buy a subsidised flat from 5 to 3 years
    – To help divorced persons buy a subsidised flat earlier

e) New 2-room flats in non-mature estates for first-timer singles aged 35 and above, earning up to $5,000 monthly
    – To meet singles’ housing needs

f) Half of Studio Apartments set aside under Studio Apartment Priority Scheme (SAPS)
    – To provide greater assurance of success to elderly applicants right-sizing to a studio apartment (SA) near their current home, or near their married children

2Two related measures on the subletting of HDB flats to non-citizen subtenants were also shared in Parliament:

    a) Plan to impose a quota on non-citizen subtenants renting entire HDB flats and bedrooms, and

    b) Reduction of the maximum approved subletting period from 3 years to 1.5 years, for all new and renewal of HDB tenancy agreements involving non-citizens

     Details can be found in Annex (PDF 176KB).

3Minister Khaw also called on Singaporeans to think about the key challenges and issues of public housing policy for the future. Minister Khaw said that he would like to continue the discussion in Parliament beyond the Budget Debate as part of Our Singapore Conversation on the subject of housing, and welcomed views and ideas from all concerned Singaporeans.

4Some of the key questions to address in re-examining old assumptions and re-visiting key policies are:

a) What should be the purpose of building HDB flats? What should be the new balance between home and asset?

b) What kind of housing should the government provide to meet future needs? Should we go “back to basics” and what does it mean?

c) How do we address affordability concerns and help meet aspirations, while continuing to encourage prudence?

d) How should public housing respond to an ageing population?

5More details will be released subsequently.