GRAPHIC

More help for low-income singles to buy new flats

Ongoing construction of a HDB BTO project in the Sengkang estate on Feb 11 Feb, 2012. The Housing Board has launched more than 500 two-room flats, a third of which will be reserved for singles. The bulk of these new flats in the Build-To-Order (BTO)
Ongoing construction of a HDB BTO project in the Sengkang estate on Feb 11 Feb, 2012. The Housing Board has launched more than 500 two-room flats, a third of which will be reserved for singles. The bulk of these new flats in the Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise will be built in Sengkang and Yishun. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The Housing Board has launched more than 500 two-room flats, up to a third of which will be reserved for singles. The bulk of these new flats in the Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise will be built in Sengkang and Yishun.

The Housing Board has introduced several initiatives help singles get their dream homes in recent years and this is the first time that a BTO project will offer units just for them. Previously, singles aged 35 and above could only get their HDB homes from the resale market, with a grant of $15,000. This group can now apply for new flats under the BTO scheme.

HDB will also now top up an additional $15,000 grant to singles who marry later, putting them on par with married couples who receive $30,000, starting with this latest BTO project.

The government has also extended the additional housing grant - up to $20,000 - for singles buying a resale flat from the open market. This is aimed at helping more singles buy their first flat, said the HDB in a statement on Tuesday.

The income ceiling for families buying two-room flats in non-mature estates has also been raised from $2,000 to $5,000, to give such families a level playing field when bidding for these flats.

The last tweak is giving higher chances to second-timers, namely singles who have already bought their flats, and divorcees who later remarry. Should they choose to marry a first-timer and go for a new flat after, they would now enjoy the same first-timer priority in allocation.

This is part of a sales exercise which offers 4,000 new flats in Bukit Merah, Sengkang and Yishun starting today.