New ‘prime location’ HDB flats not available for singles, non-nuclear families

Not even available on the resale market.

Joshua Lee | October 27, 2021, 03:51 PM

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New Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) has been unveiled in Singapore by the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Housing & Development Board (HDB).

If you're thinking about throwing your name in the hat to ballot for one of these prime location units, hold up.

There is a possibility that you might not qualify for it.

Purchase of PLH units subject to eligibility conditions

These key eligibility conditions listed below apply to PLH flats bought from HDB, as well as PLH resale flats:

1. At least one applicant is a Singapore citizen. Household must comprise at least one Singapore citizen and one Singapore permanent resident.

2. Applicant must have an eligible family nucleus. In general, these are considered eligible family nucleus:

  • Applicant and their spouse and children (if any)
  • Applicant (single) and their parents; and siblings (if any)
  • Applicant (widowed or divorced) and children under their legal custody, care and control
  • Applicant (single) and his/ her siblings, if parents are deceased, and one of the deceased parents is a Singaporean or Permanent Resident
  • Applicant and fiance/ fiancee

3. Applicant's monthly household income must not exceed the prevailing income ceiling, which is currently S$14,000, or S$21,000 if purchasing as a multi-generation family.

4. Applicant must not own or have an interest in a private property. They must not have disposed of any private property in the last 30 months.

MND, HDB: Conditions to guard against pricing PLH units out of reach

These eligibility conditions are stricter than that of a typical resale flat.

Singles, even those aged 35 and above, aren't allowed to buy these PLH units from HDB or on the resale market.

So single mothers and those looking for a bachelor pad, this is not for you.

Those who earn higher then the current income ceiling — S$14,000 (or S$21,000 for multi-generation families) — aren't allowed to buy PLH flats from HDB or the resale market as well.

Those who own private property must wait a longer period of time after disposing of the property before they can purchase a PLH unit.

According to MND and HDB, without these onerous eligibility conditions, the resale prices of these prime location flats may "rise beyond the reach of many Singaporeans" and "over time only the better-off can afford to buy them".

If it's any consolation, the agencies said that they might consider a review of the eligibility requirements at the halfway mark of the 99-year lease of these PLH units.

Speaking at a media briefing for the PLH model, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said some were concerned that these restrictions would make these homes less inclusive and out of the reach of some households.

However, the minister clarified that despite the conditions, a wide range of Singaporeans are still included, citing how the income ceiling of S$14,000 covers more than eight in 10 households.

Top images: MND, HDB