Nearly 230 babies born to couples under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme so far

Families gather for a void deck party at their new BTO estate at the Punggol Opal along Sumang Walk.
Families gather for a void deck party at their new BTO estate at the Punggol Opal along Sumang Walk.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

SINGAPORE - Since 2013, nearly 230 babies have been born to couples living in temporary public housing while waiting for their new flats to be completed, under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS).

This is up from the 110 babies born to couples under that scheme as of end-October 2014.

Senior Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office Josephine Teo, gave the updated figure in a Facebook post on Thursday (Jan 7), noting that couples do not need to wait for their Build-to-Order flats to be ready before marrying or having a child.

"With affordable HDB housing more readily available now, young couples should not wait too long to welcome baby to the family!" said Mrs Teo, who helps to oversee the government's National Population and Talent Division.

The scheme provides rental flats to first-timer married couples who are waiting for their new flats to be completed.

There are currently about 1,900 PPHS flats across the island in both mature and non-mature estates. Rental rates vary by location and flat type, ranging from $800 a month for a three-roomer in Boon Lay Drive or Yung Kuang Road in Jurong West, to $1,900 a month for a five-roomer in Dover Road, Stirling Road or Commonwealth Drive in Queenstown.

Calling it a "helpful scheme", Mrs Teo said she hoped the HDB would scale it up if there was demand.

The PPHS was launched in 2013 with 1,150 flats available. Last year(2015), the Government added another 800 flats to the stock.