PM Lee announces changes to existing housing policy

By Tan Chee Yuen / The Edge Property | August 24, 2015 10:00 AM SGT
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong unveiled several changes to the existing housing policy in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday. The move aims to boost home ownership and promote inclusiveness. Among the changes, the income ceiling to buy new HDB or Build-to-Order flats will be raised from $10,000 to $12,000. For those looking to buy new executive condominiums, the income ceiling will be raised from $12,000 to S$14,000.
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan had given a heads up of this plan back in June to account for rising household income. In the same spirit, more households will also be eligible for the Special CPF Housing Grant. The qualifying household income will be raised from S$6,500 to S$8,500 and the maximum grant doubled from $20,000 to $40,000.
Separately, the Government is looking to introduce a Proximity Housing Grant, for couples who are looking to buy a resale flat with or near their parents, or parents looking to live near their married children. The Ministry of National Development will announce the details on a later date.
To further boost home ownership among the lower-income households, the Government is implementing a new scheme known as the "Fresh Start Housing Scheme". The scheme is targeted at home renters who had bought a flat before but sold it, and for some reasons are back staying in rental flats.This group have previously enjoyed from previous HDB subsidies and it would be unfair to others if the Government simply hands out another grant. Under this scheme, these second-timers will be offered two-room flats with shorter leases and stricter resale conditions to make the flats more affordable.