Married couples suggest new housing quota and higher grants for second-timers

SINGAPORE - A new quota for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats and grants for second-timers purchasing resale flats close to their parents - these were some of the ideas floated by married couples at a housing dialogue on Saturday at the National Library.

The first idea, where a quota, or a certain number of units, will be set aside for buyers of BTO flats with or near their parents was suggested as opposed to giving them "absolute priority" - which would guarantee them a flat.

Some participants felt that a quota would give those who want to be close to their parents a good chance of securing a flat, but not make it unfair for others without parents in the same estate.

The second idea called for extending a $10,000 housing grant, currently for first-timers who wish to buy a resale flat with or close to their parents, to second-timers as well. This would make it easier for couples who already have a flat to move closer to their parents should they wish to.

Minister of State for National Development Maliki Osman said these suggestions were "rational propositions" that are worth exploring in order to strike a balance when it comes to giving some groups priorities over others.

"One of the things we recognise in terms of giving's always a challenge, because giving priority to one group means less priority to another group," he said.