In responding to a parliamentary question on parliamentary question on housing grants availability for persons with disabilities, the Minister for National Development said it was important to assess if they are able to sustain the flat purchase over the long term without employment.
The Minister Lawrence Wong, was responding to MP Zainal Sapari who had asked:
“To ask the Minister for National Development whether an unemployed single person above 35 years old with a disability is eligible for the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) and Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) when the person wishes to buy a HDB flat under the Singles Scheme.”
The Minister replied saying:
“The purchase of a flat is a long-term financial commitment. Hence, it is important for flat buyers to have steady employment to ensure that they are financially able to service the housing loan and sustain ownership of the flat over the long term. HDB provides the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) to help low- to middle-income households buy their first homes. To assess the household’s income fairly, we require at least one applicant to have worked continuously for at least 12 months prior to the flat application, and remain working at the point of flat application.
A person who is unfit for work due to disability may apply for the grants with eligible family members, or other eligible singles under the Joint Singles Scheme. For cases where a person is unfit for work due to a disability, and would like to buy a flat under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme with the help of grants, he/she may approach HDB for assistance. HDB will assess such requests, taking into account whether the appellants are able to produce a medical certification that they are unfit for work due to illness or disability, and whether they are able to sustain the flat purchase over the long term without employment.”
A bedrock of Singapore’s policy since its early days was to ensure Singaporeans could own their homes. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) was set up in 1960. The government subsequently introduced the Public Housing Scheme in 1968, where Singaporeans could use their CPF savings to pay for their mortgages. On top of this, CPF housing grants were made available to buyers of certain profiles, which have been tweaked over the years. The grants generally favour first-time buyers, families, low-income families and families who choose to stay near their parents.
This is all well and good but do note that the scheme has been refined to an extent that it is less likely to be exploited by those who are not in the target groups (i.e. low income, families, first timer applicants) and the grant that goes to you is recorded, tracked and has to ultimately stay in the CPF whenever possible instead of your bank account. When you sell the flat purchased with the grant, the grant and its accrued interest has to be returned to your CPF Ordinary account.
Also do note that the CPF Housing Grant will be disbursed via your CPF Ordinary Accounts instead of cash. The grant can be used to offset the purchase price of the flat and reduce the mortgage loan for the flat purchase but not for the minimum cash downpayment (if any) and monthly mortgage installment payments. If you are buying the flat with a bank loan, the grant will also be included in the computation of the CPF withdrawal limit.
HDB is committed to helping Singaporeans afford their first home. First-time home buyers can choose to buy a flat directly from HDB at a subsidised rate, or a resale flat from the open market with the help of housing grants.
Generous subsidies and housing grants provided by the Government further ensure that ownership of an HDB flat remains affordable and continues to be within reach of home buyers. 90 percent of first-time home buyers buy their flats directly from HDB at a subsidised rate. These flats are priced below their market value so that buyers enjoy a generous subsidy. First-time buyers of a resale flat will be given a $50,000 CPF Housing Grant for a 4-Room or smaller resale flat and $40,000 CPF Housing Grant for a 5-Room or larger resale flat. Those who plan to live with or near their parents/ married child can also apply for the Proximity Housing Grant of up to $30,000.
Grants for Resale Flats
First-time home buyers who prefer a resale flat can enjoy up to $120,000 in housing grants, depending on their household income and type of flat they buy. This comprises:
• Enhanced CPF Housing Grant of up to $50,000 families and $25,000 for singles.
|First-timer families||First-timer singles|
|4-room or smaller resale flats||$50,000||$25,000|
|5-room or larger resale flats||$40,000||$20,000|
• Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) for eligible lower and middle-income first-timers. This is given on top of the CPF Housing Grant. Depending on their income, the AHG can be up to $40,000 for families, and up to $20,000 for singles.
• Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) for those who wish to buy a resale flat to live with or near their parents or married child for mutual care and support. Eligible families will receive a PHG of up to $30,000, while eligible singles will enjoy a PHG of up to $15,000.
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