SINGAPORE: With the help of various housing grants, about 3,500 rental tenants have bought their first home in the Build-to-Order or Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises since 2013, said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Sunday (Feb 10).
Close to 2,000 of these tenants have collected the keys and moved into their new flats, said HDB. The rest are waiting for the completion of their flats.
On average, about 600 rental tenants become home owners each year.
Eligible first-timer families who buy a flat from HDB can receive up to S$80,000 of housing grants, comprising the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) of up to S$40,000 and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) of up to S$40,000.
Of the 3,500 rental tenants, 221 received the maximum housing grants of S$80,000, added HDB.
The AHG and SHG amounts received depend on the average gross monthly household income for the 12 months prior to these families submitting their flat application. Families with lower household incomes will receive a larger grant amount.
Those buying a resale flat from the open market can receive up to S$110,000 of housing grants, comprising the CPF Housing Grant (up to $50,000), AHG (up to S$40,000) and the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) of S$20,000.
Under the PHG, all Singaporean citizen families who buy a resale flat to live within a four-kilometre radius from their parents' or children's home receive S$20,000.
In addition to the housing grants, eligible tenants can also tap on various priority schemes when they apply for a BTO or SBF flat.
Tenants who apply for a two-room flexi or three-room flat in the BTO or SBF exercises can do so under the Tenants’ Priority Scheme (TPS). A majority of the tenants that have purchased their first flat in the past six years bought either a two-room flexi or three-room flat. About 47 per cent chose to buy a three-room flat, while 28 per cent bought a two-room flexi flat.
Under TPS, HDB sets aside 10 per cent of the flat supply in the sales exercises for eligible public rental tenants, as well as for other applicants whose flats are affected by the Government’s resettlement or redevelopment programmes.
Eligible tenants could also apply for a BTO or SBF flat under priority schemes such as the Third Child Priority Scheme or the Married Child Priority Scheme.