May 31, 2013

    Bumper crop of flats to meet diverse needs

    YOUNG couples expecting a child, divorcees and the elderly stand to benefit from the Housing Board's bumper crop of 8,000 flats launched yesterday, which aims to meet diverse housing needs.

    Under the joint Build-to-Order (BTO) and Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise, three housing measures announced during the 2013 Committee of Supply debate will take effect, said HDB in a statement yesterday.

    The first is the extension of HDB's Parenthood Priority Scheme, which sets aside 30 per cent and 50 per cent of the flat supply under BTO and SBF exercises respectively, to married couples who are expecting a child.

    HDB is also doubling the quota of two-room and three-room BTO flats for second-time buyers who are downsizing in non-mature estates, from 15 per cent to 30 per cent. Of this quota, 5 per cent will be set aside for those who are divorced or widowed with children aged below 16.

    Lastly, HDB said it will reserve half of the studio apartments in the joint BTO and SBF exercise for elderly applicants who want to downsize to a flat near their current home or near their married children.

    The latest BTO exercise offers 4,900 flats over eight projects in five non-mature towns - Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Jurong West, Sembawang and Woodlands.

    The eight projects are EastBrook @ Canberra, EastWave @ Canberra, Golden Mint in Buangkok Green, Hougang Crimson, Keat Hong Crescent, Spring Haven @ Jurong and Woodlands Pasture I and II.

    HDB said that first-time buyers will enjoy priority flat allocation with at least 85 per cent of four-room and five-room flats and 70 per cent of two-room and three-room BTO flats set aside for them.

    Under the SBF exercise, HDB will offer 3,100 balance flats in 11 non-mature and 15 mature towns. They comprise 602 studio apartments, 219 two-room, 396 three-room, 1,381 four-room, 478 five-room and 24 Executive flats.

    At least 95 per cent of the balance-flat supply - excluding studio apartments - is set aside for first-timers.

    In July, HDB will offer about 3,800 BTO flats in Bukit Merah, Sengkang and Yishun.

    Applications for the latest BTO and SBF flats launched can be submitted online until Wednesday.