How is HDB helping low-income households with a roof over their head?
The tenet of Singapore’s public housing rests on home ownership for the masses. Home ownership provides Singaporeans not just with a quality flat to live in, but also a tangible stake in the country.
For families who are unable to afford home ownership and have no family support, HDB offers public rental flats. The monthly household income ceiling to rent an HDB flat is $1,500. HDB is increasing the public rental stock from the current 50,000 units to 60,000 units, to assist more of such households.
The rental rates HDB charges are highly subsidised, starting from as low as $26 a month. The rates are also tiered according to household income, so that more help is extended to those in greater need.
However, some tenants may be hesitant to earn a higher income which may lead to a larger rent increase.
HDB understands these concerns.
For rental flat tenants whose monthly household income increases from “not more than $800” to “$801 to $1,500”, the HDB exercises flexibility and suspends the rental increase for one tenancy term of two years. This will ensure that they will not be made worse off after an income increase. At the end of the two years, if the income increase is still insufficient relative to the rent increase, HDB will continue to suspend the rent increase for another tenancy term of two years. This arrangement will help the tenants whose income has just increased to sustain the higher income and build up their finances.
HDB is also committed to helping rental flat tenants become home owners. If they are first-timers, they are eligible for the Special CPF Housing Grant and Additional CPF Housing Grant in their flat purchase. They may obtain up to $60,000 in grants which can help to significantly lower the loan amount required and subsequent mortgage repayments for the flat purchased.