774 families have booked flats on incomes of $1,000-$1,200

774 families have booked flats on incomes of $1,000-$1,200

SINCE March 2012, more than 700 low-income families have booked new Housing Board flats.

Official figures show that at Build-to-Order launches from March 2012 to last July, 744 families with monthly household incomes of $1,000 to $1,200 booked a new two-room or larger flat.

At the same time, 655 families in the same income bracket were invited to select a flat but did not proceed to book one, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Monday, in a written parliamentary reply to Non-Constituency MP Gerald Giam.

Mr Giam had asked for figures from March 2012 onwards.

That month was when the idea of buying a flat on a monthly salary of $1,000 made headlines.

A comment by Mr Giam in February that year prompted Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam to point out that "a family with $1,000 income can now, through our housing subsidies, purchase a small flat".

Mr Giam had expressed the worry that many low-income earners would find it hard to afford an HDB flat of their own.

Mr Tharman's rebuttal sparked discussions both online and offline, with some wondering whether it was truly possible to afford a flat at that income level.

janiceh@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on Jan 21, 2015.
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