Singapore gives leg up to public housing seekers

MND, HDB enforce changes to housing grants and elevate income ceilings for HDB and EC buyers

Singapore HDB in the evening. ChinHooi/Shutterstock

The Singapore government introduced Wednesday a raft of higher housing grants and income ceilings to hoist more low- and middle-income households up the housing ladder.

Eligible seekers of subsidised homes may now take advantage of the Enhanced Housing Grant (EHG) whether they purchase a new or resale flat, according to an announcement Tuesday by the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Housing & Development Board (HDB).

The new grant effectively replaces the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) that were available to first-timer families.

Under EHG, eligible first-timer families can procure up to SGD80,000 (USD58,200) for a flat purchase that can cover them and their spouses to the age of 95.

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“This is to ensure that all Singaporeans will be able to live comfortably in a home that can last them for life. Eligible families who buy a flat that does not meet this condition will still benefit from the EHG, but the amount will be pro-rated based on the extent that the remaining lease can cover them to the age of 95,” the HDB statement read.

As for singles who are first-time home buyers and no younger than 35, they can also obtain an EHG of up to SGD40,000, provided they are not earning more than SGD4,500 a month.

Eligibility rules have also been changed for citizens hoping to buy a flat from HDB; buy a resale flat on the open market with a CPF Housing Grant; or get an HDB housing loan. From 11 September, the monthly household income ceiling has been increased from SGD12,000 to SGD14,000 for eligible families—SGD6,000 to SGD7,000 for eligible singles.

Those seeking executive condominiums (EC) will now only have to meet a monthly household income ceiling of SGD16,000, up from SGD14,000.