Policy Changes To Support An Inclusive And Cohesive Home
 
Date issued : 05 Mar 2010


 The Minister for National Development, Mr Mah Bow Tan, announced in Parliament today housing policy changes to encourage Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs) to take up citizenship, a new quota to promote social integration of SPR households in public housing estates, and a revision to the Ethnic Integration Policy to accommodate Singapore’s changing demographics.

PART A: PROMOTING CITIZENSHIP IN HDB HOUSEHOLDS

2With globalisation, an increasing number of SPRs are joining our community as long-term residents. SPRs contribute economically and socially to building our society, and it is in our country’s interests for them to sink their roots here permanently. Hence we would like to encourage SPRs to take up Singapore citizenship.

Reinforcing the Privileges of Citizenship

3HDB facilitates home ownership by providing generous subsidies. Today, SPRs married to Singapore Citizens (SCs) enjoy the same subsidies as Singaporean couples. We would like to encourage the SPR family members in such SC/SPR households to take up citizenship.

4To do this and to reinforce the privilege of citizenship, HDB will withhold $10,000 of the housing subsidies enjoyed by SC/SPR households when they buy a flat. If they buy a resale flat, a Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat, or an Executive Condominium (EC), their Housing Grant will be reduced by $10,000. If they buy a new flat, they will have to pay a $10,000 premium on top of HDB’s selling price. The changes are summarised in Table 1.

Table 1: Housing Subsidies for SC/SPR Households
Household Type
Buying New Flat from HDB
CPF Housing Grant for
Resale/DBSS flats or EC unit
Citizen Top-Up
Basic
Grant
Higher-Tier*
Grant
SC / SC
No change
Receive $30,000
Receive $40,000
N.A
SC / SPR
Pay $10,000 Premium
Receive $20,000
Receive $30,000
Receive $10,000
* Not applicable to EC

5The withheld subsidy of $10,000 will be restored when an SPR family member in the SC/SPR household takes up citizenship or if the couple has an SC child while still in ownership of that flat. Eligible households can apply to HDB within 6 months of the change in household citizenship status to claim the $10,000 Citizen Top-Up via CPF.

PART B: ENCOURAGING SOCIAL INTEGRATION - QUOTA FOR SPR HOUSEHOLDS

6SPRs are long-term residents in Singapore. It is important that they integrate well in our local communities. Social integration is a key policy objective in our public housing system. In line with this, HDB will introduce a new SPR quota for non-Malaysian SPR families buying flats, to facilitate better integration and to prevent enclaves from forming in public housing estates.

How does the SPR quota work?

7The SPR quota will be set at 5% and 8% at the neighbourhood and block levels respectively. It will apply in addition to the existing Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) limits. The SPR quota takes into account the composition of SCs and SPRs in Singapore, and their respective demand for public housing. Malaysian SPRs will not be subject to the SPR quota, in view of their close cultural and historical similarities with Singaporeans.

8The SPR Quota caps the proportion of non-Malaysian SPR households in HDB neighbourhoods and blocks. Similar to EIP, any resale resulting in an increase in SPR proportion will not be allowed, if the neighbourhood/block limit is already reached. Under such circumstances, an SC seller or a Malaysian SPR seller would not be able to sell his flat to a non-Malaysian SPR household. However, a non-Malaysian SPR seller would still be able to sell to another non-Malaysian SPR as this would not increase the number of non-Malaysian SPR households.

PART C: REVISION TO THE ETHNIC INTEGRATION POLICY (EIP)

9The EIP was implemented in 1989 to ensure a balanced ethnic mix across HDB estates and to prevent the formation of racial enclaves.

10In response to Singapore’s changing demographics, HDB will increase the limits for the Indian/Others ethnic group by two percentage points to 12% at the neighbourhood level and 15% at the block level. The current Indian/Others limits are 10% and 13% for neighbourhood and block respectively. There is no change to the limits for the Chinese and Malay ethnic groups as the current limits are sufficient. The revised ethnic limits are given in Table 2 below:

Table 2: Ethnic Limits for HDB Flats
Ethnic Group
Maximum Ethnic Limits
Neighbourhood
Block
Malays (no change)
22%
25%
Chinese (no change)
84%
87%
Indians & Others
12%
15%

Implementation Date and Enquiries

11The above housing policy changes will be implemented with immediate effect. More details can be found in Annexes A-C (PDF 16KB).

12For enquiries, public can contact HDB through the following channels:

       (a) Sales/Resale Customer Service Line : 1800 8663 066

       (b) Branch Office Service Line : 1800 2255 432

       (c) SERS Enquiry Line : 1800 8663 070