About 70 families placed on Fresh Start Housing Scheme since launch: Lawrence Wong

Madam Fazilah, accompanied by her son, at the HDB Hub in Toa Payoh collecting the keys to their new home on Dec 13, 2018. PHOTO: FACEBOOK / LAWRENCE WONG

SINGAPORE - About 70 families have been placed on the Government's Fresh Start Housing Scheme in the two years since its launch.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said this in a Facebook post on Friday night (Dec 14), adding that five families have already collected the keys to their flat.

"I'm happy that the scheme is helping second-timer families move from public rental into their own flats," said Mr Wong, who is also Second Minister for Finance.

Last December, The Straits Times reported that there were 56 families emplaced on the scheme, and 33 were successful in their applications.

The scheme, which was launched in December 2016, aims to help families with at least one child below the age of 16 who live in public rental flats to buy a two-room Flexi Flat.

In his post on Friday, Mr Wong highlighted Madam Fazilah, who he said has been living in a rental flat with her three children for the past three years.

She was placed on the scheme last September and applied for a flat two months later during the Sale of Balance Flats exercise.

"She is looking forward to move in to her new place in Punggol by January. Congratulations to Madam Fazilah and her family on this happy occasion!" added Mr Wong.

Through the Fresh Start scheme, families can buy a two-room Flexi Flat on a shorter lease, which is more affordable than a flat on a standard 99-year lease.

They can also get a new Fresh Start Housing Grant of up to $35,000 for a 60-or 65-year lease and take up a HDB Concessionary Loan.

The scheme stipulates conditions such as at least one of the applicants having been in stable employment for the previous 12 months and the average gross monthly household income not exceeding $6,000.

Helping rental families attain home ownership is a main pillar of work at the Ministry of National Development and the Housing Board, said Mr Wong.

"We will continue to review and improve our schemes to better help these families," said the minister.

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