First-timer families to get priority for Standard HDB flats across S’pore under new classification
First-timer families will get first priority when applying for four-room or smaller Standard Build-To-Order (BTO) flats across Singapore under the new flat classification, compared to just in non-mature estates now.
This means that those who fall under the First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) priority category should be able to select a flat after fewer attempts and have more choices in more locations, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Monday.
He cited this change as an example of the impact that the new flat classification - along with various support measures introduced by the Housing Board - will have on young people hoping to buy an affordable home in good locations.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had announced on Sunday that all BTO flats will be categorised into Prime, Plus and Standard flats from the second half of 2024, in an overhaul of the current framework of classifying estates as either mature or non-mature.
Standard flats, which come with a five-year minimum occupation period (MOP), will remain the majority of public housing supply and be built islandwide.
First-timer families with Singaporean children aged 18 and below as well as married couples aged 40 and below are eligible for the new First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) priority category.
Families must also not have owned or sold a residential property before, or had a chance to book a flat in the past five years before their application.
Those in this priority category will get three ballot chances in their BTO and Sale of Balance Flat (SBF) applications.
The three ballot chances will continue to apply islandwide. Under the current estate classification, it will apply for non-mature estates, mature estates and flats under the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model.
From the second half of 2024 onwards, the three ballot chances will apply for all Prime, Plus and Standard projects, said Mr Desmond Lee at a post-National Day Rally conversation session at the Lifelong Learning Institute.
The new priority category, first announced by Mr Lee in March this year, will take effect in the upcoming Build-To-Order (BTO) sales exercise slated for around end-September to early October.
All other first-timers, such as those who may have owned private property and HDB resale flat owners who did not receive housing subsidies, will continue to get two ballot chances.
Singles will also get more housing options under the new flat classification, Mr Lee said.
Singles aged 35 and above and earning $14,000 or less a month will be able to buy Plus flats of all sizes on the resale market, except for three-generation flats.
They will also be allowed to buy two-room flexi Prime resale flats, subject to an income ceiling of $7,000. Currently, singles are not allowed to buy any Prime flats.
Seniors will also get more subsidised fittings under the Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) programme to make it easier and safer for them to go about their daily activities within their homes, said Mr Lee.
These include rocker switches which are easier to see and press, smoke detectors, handrails at flat entrances, foldable shower seats and widened toilet entrances for wheelchair users.
“With these changes, we will be better prepared to face upcoming challenges and write the next chapter of our public housing story together,” said Mr Lee.