Khaw Boon Wan lauds keen interest in 3Gen flats

Singaporeans applying for large Housing Board flats appear more willing to live with their parents, with strong interest in the new "three-generation" (3Gen) flats, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.

"The launch of 3Gen flats has clearly encouraged more to consider multi-generation living. This is a good sign," he said in a blog post on Wednesday.

He noted that out of the 1,152 applications for a pool of five-room and 3Gen flats in a recent Build-to-Order exercise in Yishun, 378 of them - about one third of applications - came from multi-generation families. In the past year, only 3 per cent of all five-room flat applicants opted for the Married Child Priority Scheme to live with their parents.

Most of the multi-generation applicants in the Yishun BTO exercise already have a flat, and are upgrading to a larger one for their growing family, as well as to live with their parents.

But a third are applying for a flat for the first time, and many of them are having or already have kids. Mr Khaw said that of the first-timer multi-generation families, six in 10 are either expecting or have young children below the age of 16.

This first-timer group tends to be older as well. Their median age is 39, higher than the median age of 30 for first-time five-room flat buyers. "These families may be living with their parents, and can look forward to enjoying more space with a 3Gen flat," he said.

Mr Khaw also noted that one in 10 of these first-timer households - who tend to be young with a median age of 32 - has no children.

"I am happy they are planning ahead to move into a larger flat to better take care of their ageing parents and future children," he said, adding that the Government "should continue to facilitate multi-generation living for Singaporeans who wish to do so".

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