Why can't HDB provide rental flats for all?

Posted on 18 Apr 2014 |

Public rental flats are for low-income households who have no other housing options and family support. These flats are heavily subsidised, and rentals are as low as $26 monthly for a 1-room flat. To help more needy families, HDB is increasing the number of rental flats from 50,000 units, to 60,000 units by 2017.

HDB has also put in place a strict set of eligibility criteria to ensure that the flats are safeguarded for the truly needy. For example, flat owners who sell their flats are not eligible to apply for an HDB rental flat within 30 months from the sale of their flat. This is to discourage flat owners from competing directly with low-income households who do not own any flat and are in urgent need of a roof over their head. Even if sellers have fulfilled the 30-month time bar, they would still have to meet other requirements for a public rental flat, before they can be placed on the rental flat queue.

HDB is committed to help rental flat tenants own their own homes once they are ready, to give them a leg up in life. There are generous grants that low-income first-timer flat buyers may apply for – such as the Special CPF Housing Grant and the Additional CPF Housing Grant. They may obtain up to $60,000 in grants and this can help to significantly lower the loan amount required and subsequent mortgage repayments for the flat purchased.