Housing grants and subsidies for Singaporeans buying their own HDB flat

We are living in extraordinary times right now, and the government has also responded to help Singaporeans tide through Covid-19 with an extraordinary three Budgets: the Unity Budget, the Resilience Budget and the Solidarity Budget.

Apart from increasing cash payouts and enhancing measures to protect Singaporeans' livelihoods announced in Budget 2020, there are also housing grants for Singaporeans buying their first home, support for seniors looking to pad up their retirement income, and vouchers for households to convert into energy-efficient homes.

1) Higher subsidies for BTO and resale flats

Buying your first home is a tremendously exciting time and a significant milestone for many Singaporeans. Finances and cost are, of course, a big concern, but the housing grants and subsidies available for first-time HDB flat buyers will provide much solace.

Eligible couples buying their first home can get up to $160,000 (up from $120,000) in grants for resale flats, or $80,000 for Build-To-Order (BTO) flats. These include the CPF Housing Grant of up to $50,000, the Proximity Housing Grant of up to $30,000, and also the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant of up to $80,000.

It doesn’t matter if you are going for BTO or resale. Or whether you are married or single. We have grants available...

Posted by Housing & Development Board on Monday, March 9, 2020

For example, first-timers looking to buy a three-room resale flat in a non-mature estate can get up to $135,000 in grants. A couple with a household income of $3,800 can likely pay their housing loan using CPF with little or no cash outlay.

2) Enhancements to Lease Buyback Scheme and Silver Housing Bonus

For senior Singaporeans with their own flat, they can consider the Lease Buyback Scheme or the Silver Housing Bonus to pad up their retirement funds.

Under the Lease Buyback Scheme, seniors can sell part of their flat's remaining lease to HDB and still continue living in their home. They can use the proceeds to top up their CPF Retirement Account and get a cash bonus of up to $30,000.

PHOTO: Unsplash

For seniors with an empty nest and a flat bigger than what they actually need, they can consider the Silver Housing Bonus, where they sell their flat to buy a three-room or smaller flat. They can then use the proceeds to top up their CPF Retirement Account and also get a cash bonus of up to $30,000.

Furthermore, they can rent spare rooms out for extra retirement income, or move to live with their children and rent out the entire flat.

3) Vouchers for energy-efficient household appliances

To help households become more environmentally friendly, the government is giving out vouchers to families living in one- to three-bedroom HDB flats.

Each eligible family will receive a $150 voucher to buy energy-efficient and climate-friendly refrigerators, as well as a $50 voucher to offset the cost of water-efficient shower fittings. With these green electrical appliances and fittings, families will also save money in their utility bills.

HDB is also doing its part in fighting climate change. The HDB Green Towns Programme targets to reduce the current energy consumption of existing HDB towns by 15 per cent by 2030.

Rooftop solar panels. PHOTO: HDB

Some of the measures adopted include installing solar panels on 70 per cent of all HDB blocks by 2030, creating clean energy to power common services, as well as finding new ways to cool HDB towns and recycle rainwater.

Smart LED lighting will also be installed to dim the lights in common areas when they are not in use, while rooftop greenery, community farming and urban farms will be added to more multi-storey car parks.

This article is brought to you in partnership with Gov.sg. For more information, visit www.talkofthetown.sg.

kwokkarpeng@asiaone.com