Complete Property Market Updates of Singapore

March 31, 2008

New HDB grant for filial singles

Filed under: General — Propertymarketupdates @ 3:58 am

$20,000 subsidy for singles who buy resale flat to live with parents

SINGLE Singaporeans who opt to buy an HDB resale flat in order to live with their parents can now get a housing subsidy of $20,000.

The subsidy aims to encourage children to look after their parents while helping them get a bit further up the property ladder.

It is a variation of an existing programme – the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme, which allows single people aged 35 and above to apply for a $11,000 CPF housing grant to buy a resale flat to live on their own.

The $20,000 subsidy – called the higher-tier Singles Grant – starts on Tuesday and comes with a number of conditions.

Applicants must be aged 35 and above, be first-time HDB buyers and must not earn more than $3,000 a month if they are buying alone.

They must also commit to living with their parents in the flat for at least five years.

Parents have obligations as well. They cannot buy or own another HDB flat or invest in private property within this period.

This means they will have to dispose of any property they own before they can qualify as co-occupiers in the subsidy application.

The $20,000 grant is also subject to other HDB policies such as resale levy liability, but it can be used by singles buying flats under the Design, Build and Sell Scheme.

The subsidy, which was announced in Parliament on March 5, is not a cash grant and can be used only for initial payment on the flat or to reduce the mortgage.

Singles buying resale flats under the joint singles scheme can also apply for the new grant.

‘It’s not something that will make all singles jump for joy as most want an opportunity to buy a flat to live on their own,’ said MP Charles Chong, chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for National Development and Environment.

But it will benefit a small group who prefer to live with their parents.

The HDB said about 270 people applied each year, between 2003 and 2007, for a singles grant to buy a resale flat with their parents.

Mr Chong felt the new subsidy does not go far enough.

He said feedback he has received suggests that singles want to be treated the same as married people, including the right to buy a new flat direct from the HDB.

He added: ‘If the purpose (of the higher grant) is to encourage children to look after their parents, then the grant should also be given to married children living with their parents.’

Source : Straits Times – 28 Mar 2008


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