Can a BTO flat applicant retain his queue number if he cancels his application under a priority scheme?
This is possible, although very rare.
This is how the ballot system works. The BTO ballot is done via a computerised system with a built-in algorithm to ensure fairness to all applicants while reserving a certain percentage of the flat supply to those with priority schemes. The priority schemes thus improve an applicant’s chance of being considered for the ballot, but do not assure the applicants of a favourable queue number ahead of non-priority scheme applicants. During every BTO exercise, applicants under the various priority schemes will be randomly shortlisted before non-priority applicants. All the shortlisted applicants will then be assigned a random queue number. For every request to remove a flat application from any priority scheme during the selection exercise, HDB will check the ballot results to see if the applicant’s queue number will change.
There are three possible results from this check:
The applicant will be removed from the queue as the applicant would not have been successfully shortlisted without the priority scheme. In this case, we would not allow them to select a flat.
The applicant will get a bigger queue number, and we will ask them to come back at a later date to select a flat.
The applicant will retain the same queue number, as he would still have been randomly shortlisted without any priority, and the applicant will proceed to select a flat.
The third scenario was what happened in the case of a couple whose queue number remained unchanged when they decided to withdraw from the Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS), and be considered as public applicants.
Our balloting process goes through rigorous audit checks. Flat applicants can rest assured that the system is robust and fair, and is not one that can be tampered with.