Sunday 23 November 2014

More HDB help for couples, parents to live close by

From next week, up to one-third of new flats will be set aside for them
By Yeo Sam Jo, The Straits Times, 22 Nov 2014

COUPLES and their parents who want to live close to each other will get more help from the Government starting next week.

Up to a third of new flats will be set aside for first-time applicants under the enhanced Married Child Priority Scheme, the Housing Board said yesterday.

Those applying for new flats for the second time will be allocated up to 15 per cent of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats and Sale of Balance Flats.

Previously, those who applied to live with or near their parents received extra ballot chances.

But the latest change will offer them "significantly higher chances of success", said HDB.

The scheme benefits flat applicants who want to live with or close to their parents or their married children.

In addition, two groups will be given priority and shortlisted ahead of other applicants under this scheme.

One group are parents and married children who apply to live under one roof.

The other group are parents who own flats in mature estates and apply for BTO flats near their married children in non-mature estates.

About a quarter of flat applicants at each sales exercise apply under the scheme, said HDB.

The quota will kick in next week, when HDB puts up for sale 4,277 BTO flats in Sembawang, Sengkang, Tampines and Yishun, as well as 3,000 Sale of Balance Flats.

Ms Nicole Tan, 23, and her boyfriend, Mr Zheng Bin, 27, who intend to apply for a five-room Tampines North BTO flat next week, were elated with the news.

Said Ms Tan, who is unemployed and whose parents live in Tampines: "We have been trying for a flat seven times since January last year.

"Hopefully this will be our lucky break."

This move from a chance-based to quota-based priority system follows the Ministry of National Development's discussions in June which sought public feedback on how housing policies could draw families closer together.

Among the ideas discussed then were absolute priority for couples applying for BTO flats in the same estate as their parents and building more three-generation flats.

MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Zainal Sapari believes that the quota will be popular with young couples, as it encourages them to live near their parents, and facilitates childcare and eldercare.

"This might also encourage couples to procreate. Some defer having a child because they can't live close to their parents," he said.

Pro-family housing policies popular and will continue: Khaw
By Yeo Sam Jo, The Straits Times, 22 Nov 2014

PRO-FAMILY housing policies proved a hit with buyers in the latest Housing Board flat launches, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan yesterday.

One in three applicants is a parent or a married child looking to live with or close to each other through the enhanced Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS), he wrote in a blog post.

This is up from the usual one quarter who apply under the scheme at each sales exercise.

The enhanced scheme, announced just ahead of last week's launches, gives greater priority to parents and married children who apply to live with or near each other, setting aside up to 30 per cent of new flats for them.

Mr Khaw also said the November sales launches, which closed at midnight yesterday, saw 123 multi-generation families apply for the 56 three-generation or 3Gen flats at Tampines GreenRidges - the first housing project in the upcoming Tampines North district. This was also the first time 3Gen units were offered in a mature estate.

Such pro-family initiatives were rolled out in response to public feedback received at the Ministry of National Development's (MND) Housing Conversations in June.

"Our housing policies will continue to support strong family formation," wrote Mr Khaw. "Next year, as we celebrate SG50, MND will do even more to help extended families live close by."

Another 360 3Gen flats will be launched next year, including 150 units in Tampines.

Some 1,200 new flats in Tampines North and 2,200 units in the first Build-to-Order (BTO) project in Bidadari will also be put on sale, he wrote.

Under the MCPS, priority will be given to those with parents or married children already living in the same town or within 2km.

For instance, in the case of Bidadari, which will be part of Toa Payoh town, applicants with parents or married children living in Toa Payoh will get priority.

Graduate student Tan Chor Seng, 26, is considering applying for a Bidadari unit with his girlfriend next year under the scheme. "It will boost my chances of getting a flat and keep the family closer," said Mr Tan, whose parents live in nearby Bishan.

As of 5pm yesterday, five- room and 3Gen BTO flats in Tampines were 4.3 times oversubscribed overall. Two-room BTO units remained popular among singles, with those in Sengkang oversubscribed by 30.9 times.

No comments:

Post a Comment