- POSTED: 16 Sep 2013 17:57
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The Housing and Development Board considers divorcees who have not taken a first housing subsidy on their matrimonial home as first-time applicants.
SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) considers divorcees who have not taken a first housing subsidy on their matrimonial home as first-time applicants.
This point was clarified by Minister of State for National Development Dr Maliki Osman in response to a query raised by MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, Dr Chia Shi-Lu in Parliament on Monday.
He noted that some may have purchased a home but not been tagged as an essential occupier, or first-timer.
Dr Maliki also said divorcees who have no children under their custody are considered as singles.
He added as long as the individual is a first-timer at the point of divorce, it makes him or her eligible to apply for the new two-room Build-to-Order flats for singles. However, this will only apply if they also meet other criteria, like age and income ceiling.
Dr Maliki was also asked whether the debarment period for divorcees interested in rental housing could be lowered.
He replied: "It really depends first on whether they have custody children. We are more sympathetic to divorcees who do have custody of children, and when they form a family nucleus. They are bound by the 30-month debarment, but we have seen cases where they require further assistance and we are prepared to look at that.
"If they do not have custody of children, then we treat them as singles, and we hope that they can also try to look for housing options on their own. If they are above 35, they can always apply for a rental flat under the Joint Singles Scheme."
Dr Maliki also said divorcees can buy a new HDB flat if they form a family nucleus with their parents.
They can also purchase a resale flat as a single.
If they are above 55, they can buy a Studio Apartment.
Dr Maliki stressed a divorcee who wants to buy a resale flat or Studio Apartment is not affected by any debarment period.
For others, the debarment period was reduced from five years to three years in March this year.
However, he noted that if there are extenuating circumstances, HDB will be prepared to exercise flexibility on a case-by-case basis.