Sunday 23 November 2014

Can't buy bigger flat as wife is a work permit holder

Various housing options for Singaporeans with foreign spouses

I REFER to Mr Yeo Shuan Chee's letter ("Can't buy bigger flat as wife is a work permit holder"; Monday).

A family nucleus comprising a Singapore citizen, with at least another Singapore citizen or permanent resident, can apply for a new flat of any type.

In the case of a Singapore citizen whose spouse is neither a Singapore citizen nor a permanent resident, they are treated as a single applicant, and are eligible to apply for only a new two-room flat.

Nevertheless, should the couple have a citizen or permanent resident child, they may apply for a new flat of any size.

Alternatively, the couple can consider buying a flat in the resale market, where a wide variety of flats are available to suit different budgets and needs.

Chan-Wong Jee Choo Lily (Mrs)
Director (Policy and Property)
Housing & Development Board
ST Forum, 22 Nov 2014

Can't buy bigger flat as wife is a work permit holder

RECENTLY, a Singaporean colleague of mine told me that he was considering balloting for a Build-to-Order (BTO) flat as his wife, a permanent resident, had just given birth.

The location of the BTO launch is near my parents' place and I have also been giving upgrading some thought, as my wife - a work permit holder - is expecting our first child in a couple of months.

My colleague checked the eligibility criteria on the Housing Board's website and found that he was able to purchase up to a new five-room flat. I also checked out the website. After keying in my particulars, I was dismayed to see that I am eligible to buy only a new two-room flat in a non-mature estate.

My salary is higher than my colleague's, so why can't I get a bigger home?

I then changed my wife's details from work permit holder to permanent resident and, like magic, found that we could buy up to a new five-room flat with no restrictions.

I would like to know how the HDB decides that I - a locally born Singaporean who has completed his full 13-year national service cycle - do not have the right to buy a flat of my choice just because my wife is a work permit holder.

It is not our fault that her application for permanent residency had been denied.

Does this make me - or my child to come - any less Singaporean?

Yeo Shuan Chee
ST Forum, 17 Nov 2014

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