Singapore Budget 2018: Caring for parents while having personal space

The enhanced Proximity Housing Grant offers singles a grant of $10,000 when they buy an HDB resale flat near their parents.
The enhanced Proximity Housing Grant offers singles a grant of $10,000 when they buy an HDB resale flat near their parents.PHOTO: REUTERS

Marketing manager Lisa Sim, 35, hopes to move into a bachelorette pad well within 4km of her elderly parents.

Ms Sim, who is single, said she plans to move out of her parents' four-room Housing Board flat in Serangoon, and into a resale flat nearby.

If she buys a resale flat within 4km, she will benefit from the enhanced Proximity Housing Grant, which now offers singles a grant of $10,000 when they buy an HDB resale flat near their parents.

Ms Sim, whose parents are retired and in their 60s, welcomed the news. "It will definitely help people shoulder the cost," she said.

"My parents are getting old. If I can take care of them while also having my personal space, I think that's good."

Living close to them would also make it easier for her to join them for dinner often, she said.

There is also the convenience of being in a familiar neighbourhood. Ms Sim and her family have lived in their Serangoon flat for about 20 years.

 
 
 

She also considered looking for a Build-To-Order flat in Punggol, but if she did buy one there, it would not be so convenient to visit her parents as often as she would like to.

Being able to care for her parents is something that is close to her heart. After Ms Sim's 37-year-old elder sister got married and moved to Pasir Ris a year ago, her parents have depended even more on her for help.

"I don't think it's good to just leave them alone," she said.

While she welcomed yesterday's announcement, she said it would be helpful if singles were allowed to buy new flats in mature estates.

She said: "Ideally, we single people would love to be eligible for a new flat in a mature estate, even if it's just a two-room flat."

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 20, 2018, with the headline 'Caring for parents while having personal space'. Print Edition | Subscribe