More help for expectant mothers, elderly and divorcees in latest launch of 8,000 flats

The Housing Board (HDB) has offered up some 8,000 flats on Thursday, in a launch that aims to address diverse housing needs. Three new housing measures, announced earlier during the supply debates, will kick in from this launch.

One is extending the Parenthood Priority Scheme, which sets aside between 30 per cent and 50 per cent for new and balance flats respectively, to married couples expecting their first child. These applicants must be first-timers, meaning they must not have enjoyed a housing subsidy previously.

The second measure is increasing the quota of smaller flats (from 15 per cent to 30 per cent) in non-mature estates to those who are downsizing, with a small proportion of this set aside specifically for divorcees with children below the age of 16.

Lastly, the Housing Board is reserving half of the studio apartments on offer for elderly who want to downgrade to a flat near their current home, or near their married children.In this exercise, HDB has launched 4,900 Build-To-Order flats in five non-mature towns - Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Sembawang and Woodlands.It has also launched 3,100 balance flats, those left unsold in previous exercises, across the island.