Mr Chua Kheng Wee Louis asked the Minister for National Development with regard to the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model (a) whether singles will eventually be allowed to buy new or resale PLH flats; and (b) if so, what are the key considerations before current restrictions imposed on singles are adjusted.
Mr Desmond Lee: The Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) model is designed with the objective of keeping public housing in prime locations affordable and inclusive for Singaporeans.
The eligibility criterion for buyers of a new PLH flat or a typical Build-To-Order (BTO) flat is the same. However, in order to keep PLH flat prices affordable for a wide range of Singaporeans, new PLH flats will be priced with additional subsidies, on top of the substantial subsidies already provided for BTO flats. Beyond the initial purchase, we also want to ensure that the prices of these flats remain within reach of Singaporeans when the PLH flats are sold subsequently on the open market.
Without policy intervention, resale prices for PLH flats would likely increase beyond the reach of many Singaporeans. We will therefore require buyers of a PLH flat on the resale market to meet the prevailing BTO eligibility criteria, to ensure affordability and accessibility over a longer period of time while managing the demand for the limited supply of PLH flats. Singaporeans are familiar with the means-tested conditions in our BTO eligibility criteria which cover a broad range of Singaporean households. Today, more than eight in 10 Singaporeans are eligible to buy a subsidised flat.
As the PLH model is a new model restricted to prime areas, there will not be many flats launched under this model in the initial phase and therefore it is necessary at present to set guidelines for priority. Applying the BTO eligibility criteria gives priority to Singaporean families, who may need more space because they have bigger households. This includes singles who can form a family unit with their parent(s), or single sibling(s) whose parents have passed on. These singles are eligible to buy a BTO flat from HDB and will similarly be able to buy a resale PLH flat in future.
The PLH model is very new. We will continue to review it over time to ensure it meets the needs of different population segments.
While our public housing policies support the marriage and parenthood aspirations of Singaporeans, we also recognize the housing needs and aspirations of singles who wish to have a place of their own. We have expanded the range of housing options available to singles over the years. Today, single Singapore citizens aged 35 and above can buy resale flats of any size and in any location, including those in existing HDB estates within prime locations that are not launched under the PLH model. To put this in context, a large majority of the resale housing stock, or over a million flats, will be available for singles to purchase in about 15 years at the same time that the first batch of PLH flats reach the open market. First-timer singles also have the option of buying a new 2-room Flexi flat from HDB in the non-mature estates. Eligible first-timer singles can also qualify for the various housing grants to assist them in their flat purchase.
Ministry of National Development
10 January 2022