Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis: Chairman, divorce proceedings are unfortunately more common than we would like them to be in Singapore, and the ownership of HDB flats is likely to come up as an issue in many of them. Individuals from the marriage without children are only allowed to retain the flat if they meet eligibility conditions such as being a Singapore Citizen, are at least 35 years old, and other prevailing conditions for retention of the flat under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme. I recognise therefore for those with care and control of their children, they will be able to retain the flat subject to financial capabilities and other eligibility conditions.
Chairman, while I am aware that our housing policies are pro-family and current HDB rules allow for some residents in the middle of a divorce to retain their HDB flat, others have not been able to do so.
Individuals who are going through divorce proceedings are already going through a stressful period and mandating a sale of the flat adds on to the stress. Individuals who are forced to sell off their flat may not be able to readily relocate and it may not be the most financially prudent option, adding on to the pressures. Further, some of them do have the wherewithal to continue servicing the housing loan by themselves.
While the HDB may be concerned about abuse, I believe couples do not enter the marriage with divorce in mind. If divorce is already a source of significant stress, is there room to allow divorcees under 35 to retain their HDB flat, subject to meeting some prevailing eligibility conditions?
Ministry of National Development
4 March 2021