COS 2021: Availability of Rental Flats

Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: Chairman, the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) currently enables couples or single parent families to rent from the Government while waiting for the completion of their BTO HDB flat. However demand often outstrips supply.

Chairman, when I last checked on 24 February, PPHS applications have exceeded the number of flats available by 13.5 times. I believe this oversubscription is not unique to February alone with the PPHS for March two times oversubscribed despite being just two days into the month. With COVID-19 delays in HDB flat construction, there will inevitably be higher demands for HDB rental from families affected by the delays.

Beyond the PPHS, public rental scheme flats for the low income are also narrowly supplied, with demand outstripping supply despite a $1,500 household income per month cap for applicants. Tightened controls for rental applications may lower the number of applicants, but not the real demand for the rental market. There is a clear need for expanding a supply of rental public homes for those in need as well.

On the broader landscape of change how is MND readying itself for a growing millennial preference to rent rather than own a house. We have already seen the sharing economy take root in various areas of everyday life such as in transport, for example. This preference likely stems from both concerns on the affordability of home ownership and a preference for work mobility and flexibility. Is MND considering expanding the supply of rental housing by the HDB to meet this growing demographic trend?

Ministry of National Development
4 March 2021

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