Pro-family housing policies are popular and will continue, says Khaw Boon Wan

The completed build-to-order (BTO) housing project Green Leaf at Tampines Central 7, finished earlier this year. In the latest round of BTO launches which just ended, pro-family housing policies have proved to be a hit with buyers. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH
The completed build-to-order (BTO) housing project Green Leaf at Tampines Central 7, finished earlier this year. In the latest round of BTO launches which just ended, pro-family housing policies have proved to be a hit with buyers. -- ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

Pro-family housing policies proved a hit with buyers in the latest Housing Board flat launches, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.

One in three applicants is a parent or a married child looking to live with or close to each other through the enhanced Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS), he wrote in a blog post.

This is up from the usual one quarter who apply under the scheme at each sales exercise.

The enhanced scheme, announced just ahead of last week's launches, gives greater priority to parents and married children who apply to live with or near each other, setting aside up to 30 per cent of new flats for them.

Mr Khaw also said the November sales launches, which closed at midnight yesterday, saw 123 multi-generation families apply for the 56 three-generation or 3Gen flats at Tampines GreenRidges - the first housing project in the upcoming Tampines North district. This was also the first time 3Gen units were offered in a mature estate.

Such pro-family initiatives were rolled out in response to public feedback received at the Ministry of National Development's (MND) Housing Conversations in June.

"Our housing policies will continue to support strong family formation," wrote Mr Khaw. "Next year, as we celebrate SG50, MND will do even more to help extended families live close by."

Another 360 3Gen flats will be launched next year, including 150 units in Tampines.

Some 1,200 new flats in Tampines North and 2,200 units in the first Build-to-Order (BTO) project in Bidadari will also be put on sale, he wrote.

Under the MCPS, priority will be given to those with parents or married children already living in the same town or within 2km.

For instance, in the case of Bidadari, which will be part of Toa Payoh town, applicants with parents or married children living in Toa Payoh will get priority.

Graduate student Tan Chor Seng, 26, is considering applying for a Bidadari unit with his girlfriend next year under the scheme. "It will boost my chances of getting a flat and keep the family closer," said Mr Tan, whose parents live in nearby Bishan.

As of 5pm yesterday, five- room and 3Gen BTO flats in Tampines were 4.3 times oversubscribed overall. Two-room BTO units remained popular among singles, with those in Sengkang oversubscribed by 30.9 times.

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg