SINGAPORE: The Government will enhance the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) to give more support to family members who want to live with or near each other, Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced in his Budget speech.
Singles, who Mr Heng noted are often a “key source of caregiving support within their families”, will be one group that will benefit from the enhancements.
Currently, eligible singles who buy a resale flat to live with their parents receive a PHG of S$10,000. Mr Heng announced that this amount will be increased to S$15,000.
Singles who buy a resale flat near their parents will also now receive a PHG of S$10,000.
Mr Heng added that families buying a resale flat to live with their parents or children will also benefit from an increased PHG of S$30,000, up from S$20,000 currently. Those buying a resale flat near their parents or children will continue to receive a PHG of S$20,000.
The Government will also simplify its criterion of determining what is “near”, Mr Heng added. Currently, this proximity condition is defined as living in the same town, or within 2km. But this will be revised to “within 4km”, said Mr Heng, in order to give applicants more choices when choosing a resale flat to live near their loved ones, including flats in nearby towns.
In a joint press release, the Ministry of National Development (MND) and Housing and Development Board (HDB) added that the revised proximity condition of 4km will also apply to the Married Child Priority Scheme and Senior Priority Scheme for new flats, with effect from HDB’s May 2018 Build-To-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise.
Mr Heng pointed out that with the recently-enhanced CPF Housing Grant and the Additional CPF Housing Grant, a first-timer applicant can now receive up to S$120,000 in housing grants when buying a resale flat to live with their parents. This, he said, is a 50 per cent increase compared to three years ago.
The enhancements will cost the Government an additional S$80 million per year, and will take immediate effect. Eligible resale flat applications received on or after 3.30pm on Feb 19 will benefit from the enhanced PHG, said MND and HDB.
The PHG was introduced in 2015 to help Singaporeans buy a resale flat with or near their parents or children “for mutual care and support”. As at Dec 31, 2017, close to 11,000 households have benefitted from the PHG, or a total grant amount of about S$211 million.