Extend delayed income assessment for BTO flats to current buyers

I applaud the Government for listening to the needs of young couples who are serious about settling down yet face financing difficulties (HDB speeds up flat-buying process for young couples; March 7).

I am confident that deferring the assessment of their income for housing loans and grants to just before they collect the keys to their new homes, instead of at the time of application, will be beneficial and encourage them to settle down earlier.

However, I am disheartened to read that the delayed income assessment will be provided only from the next sales exercise in May.

There is a significant number of young couples who applied for Build-to-Order flats or signed leases in the last year or so and are waiting for the flats to be ready.

This change in policy could be crucial for them too, as they may not have been eligible for any grants or loans.

Rather than having these couples lose out simply because they wished to settle down earlier, a simple suggestion would be to extend the delayed income assessment to them as well.

A small tweak to this policy will have a significant impact on them, as every dollar saved from the housing expenditure could be a dollar more for starting a family.

Cheryl Chiam (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2018, with the headline 'Extend delayed income assessment for BTO flats to current buyers'. Print Edition | Subscribe