- POSTED: 19 Sep 2013 00:19
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More families, including divorcees with children and engaged couples, will now be able to apply for temporary housing from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) as they wait for their new flats to be completed.
SINGAPORE: More families, including divorcees with children and engaged couples, will now be able to apply for temporary housing from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) as they wait for their new flats to be completed.
This is part of three key changes to the HDB's Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) announced today.
The changes will also allow families to move into these temporary flats more quickly.
This helps 25-year-old Nursakina Saleh and her fiance, who have bought a three-room Build-to-Order flat in Punggol which will not be completed till 2016.
When they heard they can now rent a temporary unit from the HDB, they immediately applied.
Previously, only married couples applying for a flat for the first time were eligible.
However, engaged couples will have to produce their marriage certificate within three months of moving into their PPHS flat.
"We were thinking to actually postpone our wedding to nearer to the dates of completion of our flat, which is 2016. So with this scheme it's really a very good opportunity for us and very beneficial," Nursakina Saleh said.
Married couples comprising a first-time applicant and a second-timer, and divorcees with children will now also be eligible.
That is good news for 37-year-old Sharon Tan who has a seven-year-old son and a four-year wait before her flat in Bukit Batok is completed.
She said: "I was really thinking if I can't get a flat, I'll just try my best to find a rental place. But I've been asking around (and) the price is really expensive.
“I've had to put up with my parents at the moment and it's not a very conducive environment, because my son and I have to stay in a bedroom on our own. So I think this is very good, it gives us another chance to rent another place at an affordable rate."
Another change is that those eligible will be able to apply for a flat at any time instead of waiting for periodic launches.
These temporary housing units are located across four locations -- in Boon Lay, Bedok, Ang Mo Kio and Dover. The HDB says these units are retrofitted and ready for immediate occupation. Those who apply successfully can expect to be able to move in the following month.
Property analysts say the affordable rental rates, which start from S$800 for a three-room flat in Boon Lay, will also be a big draw.
Mr David Poh, managing director of David Poh & Associates, said: "A three-room flat rental, at market rate, will cost you about at least S$1,600 to S$2,000...But under this scheme, you can rent a three-room flat for about S$800. So I think it's definitely a good bargain."
As of the end of August, over 800 vacant flats are still available for rent.
So far, 327 married couples have taken up the units, of which 225 couples are married with children.