Three-generation flats popular

PHOTO: Three-generation flats popular

The latest three-generation living approach by the Housing Board (HDB) looks set to continue, given the number of young families with elderly members who applied for September's offerings.

Noting the positive response on his blog, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said: "The launch of 3Gen flats has clearly encouraged more to consider multi-generation living. This is a good sign.

"We should continue to facilitate multi-generation living for Singaporeans who wish to do so."

The HDB had offered only 84 three-generation units in Yishun, as it was "not sure of demand" then.

But a third of the 1,152 applications for three-generation units and five-room flats were from multi-generation households.

This is in stark contrast to last year, when only 3 per cent of five-room flat applicants applied to live with their parents under the Married Child Priority Scheme, wrote Mr Khaw.

The three-generation units are a new type of flat offered by the HDB.

They have four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and are about 5 sq m larger than current five-room units.

The Housing Board bundled the three-generation flats and five-room units so that applicants would have an "alternative housing option" if one type ran out, Mr Khaw said.

Second-time applicants signalled strong interest in these larger flats, forming two-thirds of the applicants.

Among first-timer multi-generation families, six in 10 are either expecting or have young children below age 16.

Their median age is 39, higher than the previous median of 30 among first-time applicants for five-room flats.

One in 10 first-timer households has no children, and their median age is understandably lower at 32.

Mr Khaw said: "I am happy they are planning ahead to move into a larger flat to better take care of their ageing parents and future children."

Singapore is projected to have one in five people aged 65 or older by 2030.

"As our population ages, family support will become increasingly important for the well-being of our seniors," said Mr Khaw.

"They also help to enrich family relations by sharing their experiences, and lending an extra hand in caring for their grandchildren."

Another 100 three-generation flats in Jurong West will be available in the next HDB exercise later this month.

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