On June 2019, the Singapore Housing Development Board set up a seven-member Home Ownership Support Team (HST) in a bid to enable families from making a move from renting to buying homes.
Several families have benefitted from the assistance provided by the team. Records show that over 200 rental households have been provided with guidelines and support. Many have already applied for buying out their flats, some have booked or are ready to book new ones. Depending on family size, age and income of the applicant , many are also settling for Build-to-Order houses.
Most citizens of Singapore, the team found out, were interested in making an investment in their homes but they were hesitant to buy flats as they were not aware of the various assistance schemes available. The HST officers have been outlining available schemes to several families since the team was formed, moreover, they are also assisting in preparing necessary documents for applications as well as starting off the application process.
The guidance of the HST does not stop here, they are also assisting the applicants in planning their finances so they may set up a housing budget in order to actualize their homeownership dreams. This has enabled several persons to work out major factors like home loans, education loans, medical expenses and taxes
The HDB’s move has been well appreciated by the people of Singapore. The team has been looking into each applicant on a case-by-case basis to perform a cohesive all-round assessment of their circumstances. The eligibility is determined only after considering all financial factors like existing loans, savings, employment status. The team has been working very efficiently and has been reaching out to interested households through phone, email, house visits, besides using local advertising.
The HST is also working hand in hand with different social service agencies and partners to enable the families not yet financially stable to move closer to the dream of owning a house. A primary reason for setting up the HST was to work with Singapore’s income disparity so that lower-income families too could dream of owning homes.
As of now, the HST has a mission to reach out to 1,000 rental households as an approximate of 50,000 households currently live in public rental flats.