Committee of Supply 2023

Keeping Public Housing Accessible for Singaporeans

HDB is committed to providing homes to meet the diverse housing needs of Singaporeans, and support their home ownership aspirations at different life stages. We will continue to keep public housing affordable and accessible, so that Singaporeans with different budgets and needs will be able to own a home.

Several key housing announcements were made at the Ministry for National Development’s Committee of Supply Debate on 2 March 2023. Find out what these are and how we plan to provide accessible public housing for Singaporeans.

Greater priority for new category of first-timer families

To help young families settle down more quickly, we will introduce a new priority category for a subset of First-Timer families buying their first home - First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) or FT(PMC) in short. FT(PMC) applicants will receive an additional ballot chance and enjoy higher priority when they apply for flats.

To qualify for the FT(PMC) category, first-timer families have to meet all the following conditions:

  • Have at least 1 Singapore Citizen child aged 18 and below, or are married couples aged 40 and below
  • Never owned or sold a residential property before
  • Did not have a chance to book a BTO/ SBF flat in the past 5 years prior to their flat application

Additional ballot chance

FT(PMC) applicants will receive 1 additional ballot chance for their flat applications in our BTO and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises, on top of the 2 ballot chances that they already receive today as first-timer families. This means that they will receive a total of 3 ballot chances when they apply for any flat type in any estate.

Increased allocation of flat supply under the Family and Parenthood Priority Scheme

We will expand the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) to include all FT(PMC) applicants and rename it as the Family and Parenthood Priority Scheme (FPPS).

Under the current PPS, up to 30% of the public flat supply in a BTO exercise, and up to 50% of the flat supply in an SBF exercise, is allocated to first-timer married couples with at least 1 Singapore citizen child aged 18 and below or who are expecting a child. With the enhancement, we will set aside up to 40% of the flat supply in each BTO exercise, and up to 60% of flats in each SBF exercise for the FPPS.

First priority for FT(PMC) applicants under the FPPS

FT(PMC) applicants applying for 4-room and smaller BTO flats in the NMEs will be given first priority for the flats set aside under the FPPS. This means that they will be shortlisted ahead of all other FPPS-eligible applicants and stand a higher chance of being invited to select a flat.

These changes will be implemented from the August 2023 BTO exercise.

Tighter rules for non-selection of flat

Over the past few years, about 40% of BTO flat applicants do not book a flat at their flat selection appointment when invited to do so. This deprives other home buyers with more urgent housing needs the chance to book a flat as a result.

To ensure that flat applicants with more urgent needs can secure their flats more quickly, we will tighten the rules for non-selection of flats:

  • First -imer families, including those under the FT(PMC) category, who accumulate 1 non-selection count (lowered from the current 2 counts) will be considered second-timer families for 1 year in the computer ballot
  • Second-timer families who accumulate 1 non-selection count (lowered from the current 2 counts) will have to wait 1 year before they can apply for a flat again


The non-selection count will be waived for applicants with 10 or fewer BTO flats to choose from; or 5 or fewer SBF flats to choose from when they are invited to book their flats.

These changes will be implemented from the August 2023 BTO exercise.

Expanding housing-plus-care options for seniors

Following the positive response to the first 2 Community Care Apartments (CCA) pilots, Harmony Village @ Bukit Batok (launched in February 2021) and Queensway Canopy (launched in November 2022), we will be launching a third CCA project in Bedok later this year.

The development will comprise about 200 CCA units, alongside other flat types, as well as social and communal facilities. Residents of the CCA will enjoy convenient access to various amenities nearby, including Active Ageing Centres, community centres, markets, and hawker centres. More details will be provided during the sales exercise later this year.

We are also developing a pipeline of CCAs in different locations across Singapore, and will share more details when ready.

More housing options for lower-income singles in public rental housing

In December 2021, we launched the Joint Singles Scheme Operator-Run (JSS-OR) pilot to provide an additional option for singles to apply for a public rental flat on their own without first having to find a flatmate. With the initial 3 blocks close to full occupancy, we are expanding the pilot to 3 new sites. The 3 additional sites, which are located in Bukit Panjang, Bidadari, and Sengkang, can accommodate about 600 tenants in total.

We expect to open the new sites for applications by the end of this year. We will continue to find ways to improve the living experience of singles under the Public Rental Scheme.

Enhancing the Vibrancy of HDB Heartlands

As heartland shops are an integral part of many Singaporeans’ daily lives, we will also be rolling out initiatives to enhance the vibrancy of HDB heartlands. Read on to learn how we will be encouraging entrepreneurship, supporting shop owners with upgrading works, extending more help for social enterprises, and providing more affordable meal options for our residents.

Revitalising neighbourhoods and supporting heartland shops

Enhanced Entrepreneur Scheme

To refresh and boost the range of goods and services offered in HDB estates, we will work with Enterprise Singapore to enhance the existing Entrepreneur Scheme by identifying promising and innovative entrepreneurs to set up businesses in the heartlands.

More support will be provided to budding entrepreneurs, where eligible start-ups will benefit from a 10% rental discount for their first 3-year tenancy. They will also be allocated HDB shop spaces beyond new generation neighbourhood centres (NCs), enabling them to operate from HDB shop spaces located in existing NCs and precinct clusters as well.

Enhanced Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) Scheme

HDB provides funding to help retailers carry out improvement works at the common area under the ROS scheme, to improve the vibrancy and competitiveness of HDB shops. We will further enhance the ROS scheme to support retailers in upgrading their shopping environment, by reducing their co-payment portion from 20% to 5%. HDB will correspondingly increase its co-funding share to 85%, up from 70%, while the Town Council will continue to co-fund 10% of the upgrading costs. The total budget for upgrading works will remain unchanged at $35,000 per shop.

We will also introduce a new funding category for optional works, where HDB will co-fund 80% of the costs, capped at $3,000, for shop owners who carry out improvements to their shopfronts in tandem with any ROS upgrading in their precinct.

Building inclusiveness in the heartlands

HDB provides affordable shop spaces for new or growing social enterprises, to promote inclusiveness in the heartlands. Eligible social enterprises and businesses with inclusive hiring practices can apply to be allocated a shop space and benefit from rental discounts. To provide more support for these enterprises, we will increase the rental discount from 20% to 30% for the first 3-year tenancy, and upon renewal, extend the rental discount for a subsequent 3-year tenancy. We will also make available up to 30 shop spaces for direct allocation each year, double the 15 units that are allocated currently.

Providing more affordable meal options

A good supply of coffeeshops across all HDB estates ensures that residents have access to affordable meal options. Since 2018, HDB has let out new coffeeshops via Price-Quality Method (PQM) tenders, which are based on a range of criteria beyond rent, such as affordability considerations. This has reduced rental rates for new coffeeshops by an average of 27%. Tenderers bidding for new HDB rental coffeeshops must also provide budget meals at 6 stalls, as well as a budget drink, as an affordable option for customers.

From May 2023, we will be extending the budget meals requirement to all rental coffeeshops due for renewal. They will need to provide 4 budget meals and 2 budget drinks, as a condition for renewal of their tenancy. By 2026, all 374 coffeeshops will offer budget meal options for residents, up from the current 72, To ease the transition for coffeeshop operators and stall holders, HDB will be offering a rental discount of 5% off the renewal rents for a period of 1 year, from the time that the new budget meals/ drinks requirement is in place.