24% apply for BTO flats under schemes to help families live closer together: Minister Khaw Boon Wan

In his latest blog post, Mr Khaw Boon Wan said that these families, comprising 24 per cent of all BTO applicants since 2011, enjoy higher success rates of getting a flat.
In his latest blog post, Mr Khaw Boon Wan said that these families, comprising 24 per cent of all BTO applicants since 2011, enjoy higher success rates of getting a flat.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - One in four applicants of BTO flats applied under government schemes that help families live closer together, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan said on Friday.

In his latest blog post, Mr Khaw said that these families, comprising 24 per cent of all applicants since 2011, enjoy higher success rates of getting a flat.

The Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) is the most popular and accounted for about 90 per cent of these applicants in 2014, he said.

In November last year, HDB announced an enhancement to the MCPS scheme: a certain proportion of new flats will be reserved for married children who want to live closer to their parents or vice versa.

Since then, 6,200 families have applied under the scheme, Mr Khaw said.

Of these, almost half of the parents are moving from mature estates to live nearer to their children in non-mature estates.

Another housing priority programme - the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) has attracted 284 pairs of families, comprising parents and married children, to apply since September 2013.

Mr Khaw added that they have tried to launch more new flats in mature estates.

"We have launched the first BTO project in Tampines North last year, and we will launch the first BTO project in Bidadari later this year.

"We expect application rates in Bidadari to be high. To help families live closer together, we will give priority to those whose parents live in Toa Payoh, Potong Pasir, or within the 2km radius," he said.

As there is limited land for new developments, MND will also study how to enhance their schemes for resale flats.

Currently, the Government gives "an additional $10,000 under the higher-tier CPF Housing Grant of $40,000, to help first-timer families buy a resale flat to live together or close to their parents or married children.

"We will also study whether we can further help those who wish to buy a resale flat to live near their parents," Mr Khaw said.

chuimin@sph.com.sg