A roof over one’s head is a basic need for all creatures big or small. The birds have their nests, the rabbits their burrows … and Singaporeans have our high-rise HDB homes nestled in a green, garden city that many others – believe it or not – do envy.

But for some of us, a space to call our own may still be a dream we are chasing, and whether the reasons are financial or personal, that roof appears seemingly unattainable.

However, the recent slate of  has brought good news that will help make this dream a closer reality for these groups of people.

  • For singles, aged 35 and above, the best piece of news is that they can soon buy a new 2-room Build-To-Order (BTO) flat directly from HDB, from the July 2013 BTO sales exercise onwards. Previously, singles could buy only resale flats. Although reactions to the conditions attached (i.e. a monthly income ceiling not exceeding S$5,000) are mixed, it is still a progressive nod to the housing needs of singles who cannot afford to buy private apartments.

 

  • For married first-timer couples expecting a child, the stork has also arrived with expectant news. The Parenthood Priority Scheme, a recent policy according priority in (BTO) sales exercise for families with children up to 16 years old, will now be extended to them. This policy will apply from the May 2013 BTO sales exercise onwards.

 

  • The stork has also arrived with good news for married first-timer couples waiting out the time for their BTO flat to be completed. The Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme is now extended to all married first-timer couples, including those without children. More details will be out in April 2013.

 

  • For second-timer families right-sizing to a 2- or 3-room flat, the BTO quota for them will double from 15% to 30%. And from this 30% quota, 5% will be set aside for divorced or widowed second-timers with children below 16. This increased proportion of BTO flats for second-timers will apply from the May 2013 BTO sales exercise onwards.

 

  • For divorcees, the reduction in the time bar to three years will now make it easier for them to buy a subsidised flat earlier. This takes effect from 8 March 2013.

 

  • For the elderly who wish to right-size to an HDB Studio Apartment (SA), the new Studio Apartment Priority Scheme (SAPS) is for them. SAPS will accord priority to elderly applicants applying for an SA near their current flat or close to where their children live. SAPS will kick in from the May 2013 BTO sales exercise.

 

A place to call home is something everyone aspires to – singles, young couples, families with kids, and the elderly. In this recent slate of announcements, HDB has introduced something for everyone, giving good reasons for cheer!

In the following days, hear it straight from the families and individuals who stand to benefit. 

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