The Housing Development Board (HDB) is lowering the age limit for single unwed parents looking to buy Built-To-Order (BTO) flats. It is also expanding the size of BTO flats they are allowed to purchase.
Single unwed parents aged 21 and above will be allowed to purchase up to a three-room flat in a non-mature estate, stated Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Mar. 4, 2020.
Single unwed parents currently have to be 35 and above to buy flats
Speaking at the Ministry of National Development (MND) Committee of Supply (COS) debate, Member of Parliament Seah Kian Peng asked how the ministry could better support the housing needs of single, unwed parents and their children.
"Currently, single parents who are not married are still under the ‘singles’ category. If they’re under 35 years old, they cannot buy apartments, and if they earn more than S$1500, they cannot apply for rental flats," Seah said.
In response, Wong stated that MND and HDB are committed to supporting the efforts of the country's vulnerable groups, including single unwed parents.
Currently, single unwed parents have to be aged 35 and above in order to purchase a flat.
They can only purchase a new 2-room Flexi flat in a non-mature estate under the Singles Singapore Citizen or the Joint Singles Scheme (as a co-applicant).
Alternatively, they can also purchase resale flats if they can afford it. There is no limit on the size and location of resale flats for singles.
Single parents looking to buy a flat can tap on the Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (ASSIST) by HDB.
Under this scheme, HDB sets aside a portion of 2 and 3-room flats in non-mature estates for divorced or widowed parents with at least one child under the age of 16.
However, ASSIST is not extended to single unwed parents.
Single unwed parents under 35 can still request to purchase resale flats
According to MND, single unwed parents above the age of 21 (but below 35) have been allowed to purchase new and resale flats in the past. This was based on a case-by-case basis.
Single unwed parents may also continue to request to purchase resale flats, while those who are unable to afford to purchase any flats will be considered for public rental flat.
"We do want to ensure that their children have a stable home to grow up in. So, we will assist all unwed parents who approach HDB with their housing needs," Wong said.
Top image via Unsplash, Gov.sg/YouTube
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