HDB unveils higher grants and household income caps for buyers

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Blocks of HDB flats. (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — The household income ceiling for families to buy a new HDB flat will be increased from Wednesday (11 September) as part of measures to make public homes more affordable and accessible.

A new Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) will also be introduced, which will see eligible first-timer families get up to $160,000 in housing grants in total, an increase from up to $120,000 in grants currently.

Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong announced the measures at the HDB Awards Ceremony 2019 at Marina Bay Sands on Tuesday (10 September).

"The Enhanced Housing Grant is a major step forward in making HDB flats more affordable for all first-timers. Home buyers will have more options for larger BTO flats in mature estates, and also the wide variety of readily available flats in the resale market. For those who want to live near their parents, or who want a home to set up a family quickly, they will now have many more affordable options,” Wong said.

In a Facebook post last month, Wong said, “We are constantly looking at ways to help young families set up their first homes.

“In recent years, we have increased housing grants for resale flats, started offering flats with shorter waiting times, and provided more flexibility for students and national servicemen who are ready to settle down to defer income assessment for housing grants and loans. These changes have improved housing affordability and helped young families to secure their own homes earlier,” he added.

Higher income ceiling

The monthly household income ceiling will be raised from $12,000 to $14,000 for families to buy a flat from HDB, buy a resale flat on the open market with a CPF housing grant, or get an HDB housing loan for a new or resale flat.

The income ceiling for families to buy an executive condominium (EC) will also be raised from $14,000 to $16,000.

There will be no change to the tiered CPF housing grant for first-timer households earning less than $12,000 to buy an EC. Households earning more than $12,000 will not be eligible for housing grants in buying an EC.

For first-timer singles who are 35 and above, the income ceiling will also be increased from $6,000 to $7,000 to buy a 2-room flexi flat in non-mature estates under the Single Singapore Citizen (SSC) Scheme or the Joint Singles (JS) Scheme, buy up to a 5-room resale flat on the open market with a CPF Housing Grant for Singles under the SSC, or get an HDB housing loan for a new or resale flat.

Enhanced CPF Housing Grant

A new Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) will replace the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG), meant for the lower and middle-income families, and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG), meant for lower and middle-income families buying new 4-room or smaller flats in non-mature estates.

With the new EHG, eligible first-timer families buying a resale flat can get up to $160,000 in housing grants in total - $80,000 in EHG, a CPF Housing Grant of up to $50,000 and a Proximity Housing Grant of up to $30,000.

The new EHG will be available for new and resale flats, with no restrictions on flat type and location. The monthly household income ceiling for the EHG is $9,000.

Previously, such buyers could get up to $120,000 in housing grants in total.

The proximity grant is eligible for those who want to live with or are living near their parents or children.

Meanwhile, first-timer singles who are 35 and above and earning not more than $4,500 a month can also get an EHG of up to $40,000.

These buyers can get up to $80,000 grants in total for resale flats - $40,000 in EHG, a CPF Housing Grant of up to $25,000 and a Proximity Housing Grant of up to $15,000.

The EHG is available for flats with at least 20 years of lease remaining, and the full grant amount will be available for flats that can cover buyers until age 95 and beyond. The grant amount will be pro-rated otherwise.

More details on the new measures will be made available on the HDB InfoWEB.

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