Strengthening family bonds in Singapore

SINGAPORE: The Housing & Development Board (HDB) announced on Saturday it has given out about S$83 million in Proximity Housing Grants (PHG) since the scheme was announced over a year ago, helping more than 4,300 families.

HDB said the response to the scheme “has been very encouraging” as it gives Singaporeans more options to buy a resale flat with or near their parents or married children, in their preferred location in the resale market. Eligible executive condominium applicants may also apply for CPF Housing Grants. Upcoming executive condo launches include Yio Chu Kang EC, Inz Residence EC, Choa Chu Kang EC, Anchorvale Lane EC,  while existing ones include Terrace EC, Brownstone EC, The Vales EC, Parc Life EC , Sol Acres EC, The Visionaire, Bellewoods EC, Signature at Yishun, The Criterion EC, Treasure Crest, Northwave EC Waterwoods EC, Skypark Residences, Wandervale EC, The Amore EC,  Bellewaters EC.

“It complements other measures to help Singaporeans buy a new HDB flat with or near their parents or married child, such as the Married Child Priority Scheme, Multi-Generation Priority Scheme, Senior Priority Scheme and the three-generation flats,” HDB added.

The Proximity Housing Grant was introduced to help Singaporeans buy a resale flat with or near their parents or children for mutual care and support.

All eligible families receive a grant of S$20,000 to offset costs while eligible singles will also enjoy a grant of S$10,000 if they buy a resale flat with their parents.

The grant has helped families like Mohammad Azrul and his wife Nur Ashikin. Ordinarily, the newlyweds would have had to pay S$345,000 for their four-room resale flat in Woodlands. But the flat only cost them S$285,000.

As first-time flat applicants, the couple received S$40,000 in grants from the government. The Proximity Housing Grant gave them another S$20,000.

The flat is just a five-minute walk from Azrul’s parents’ flat, and the couple says living close to Azrul’s mother will be a boon with the birth of their first child, expected in May 2017. “The first few months when I give birth, I really need somebody to really take care of me,” said Ashikin.

MAJORITY BUYING RESALE FLATS TO LIVE CLOSER TO OR WITH PARENTS

As of Aug 31, 5,217 households have applied for the scheme, involving a total grant amounting to S$100.8 million.

Of these, 4,315 households have received S$82.6 million, with the remainder to be disbursed upon completion of resale transactions.

The total pool of applicants represent about a quarter of resale applications registered between Aug 24, 2015 and Aug 31, 2016.

Of the applicants, 56 per cent are households that would not have qualified for any previous housing grants.

93 per cent of all applicants are families and the rest are singles.

About 95 per cent of applicants bought resale flats to live closer to or with their parents, while the remaining 5 per cent are parents.

Flats bought under the scheme were evenly distributed across mature and non-mature estates, HDB said.

In a Facebook post, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said the government recognises the desire shared by many Singaporeans to live closer to their families. “At the Ministry of National Development, we will continue to support this aspiration and help strengthen family bonds in Singapore,” he wrote.

executive condo and mnd pic 2