Singaporeans want Discontinuation of HDB Priority Schemes – Buyers Limited for Prime Area Resale Flats

The majority of Singaporeans support the removal of Housing Board (HDB) priority schemes over flats available in prime locations. At the same time, they expect limiting buyers in the open market to ensure affordability and accessibility to public housing.

As per the report released by the Ministry of National Development, most Singaporeans feel that homeowners must be restricted to renting out the entire HDB flat after completion of a five-year minimum occupation period (MOP).

Almost 7500 Singaporeans were accessed to receive feedback on how to maintain prime location HDB flats, such as Greater Southern Waterfront and City Center, inclusive. The public engagement on gathering suggestions and feedback on the situation ended in the previous month.

In a recent Facebook post, Desmond Lee, National Development Minister, said that Singaporeans have shown considerable interest in the housing market and they shared their perspectives and ideas keenly. These valuable suggestions from the public have enriched the thought process for new public housing model development. Another public housing model is expected to be launched soon, added Mr Lee.

Note that the new regulations will apply to the prime area based on future public housing; these guidelines are not applicable to the existing flat owners.
As per the report released by the Ministry of National Development after a long 10-month consultation from the public, it is observed that most Singaporeans expect the government to introduce some new policies and conditions for prime location-based HDB flats. The main idea behind this entire engagement process was to keep centrally located HDB flats affordable for resale buyers and first-time homebuyers as well.

The majority of survey participants are even in favour of the removal of priority schemes for HDB flats. Usually, a priority scheme helps to improve the eligibility of an applicant on the computer ballot for HDB flat application. One of the potential schemes in this list was the Married Child Priority Scheme according to which applicants who have their parents or children living in the same area, were given more priority over others. At present, almost 30% of Build-to-Order flats are reserved for first-timer families.

If such schemes are removed, it would automatically ensure that every eligible buyer gets a fair and equal chance for flat balloting. One more policy condition may be also applied in future that could limit the pool of buyers for HDB resale flats in the prime area. The majority of survey participants are also in favour of this amendment. It may also lead to an income ceiling cap on resale flat buyers at prime HDB locations.

Other than this, most of the survey participants were also in favour of the longer MOP period in comparison to current five-year conditions. This policy could be more beneficial for people that are interested to live in the purchased flat for the long run. However, few others also felt that the short term leases in comparison to the ongoing 99-year lease policy may make flats more affordable at prime locations.


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