Singapore’s Housing and Development Board (HDB) has allowed divorcees to purchase a subsidised flat without their ex-spouses’ consent in more than 200 instances over the past three years, according to a written parliamentary reply from the Ministry of National Development on Tuesday (9 January).
Under existing rules, parents are only permitted to buy an HDB flat within the first three years of divorce if they are awarded sole care and control of all children borne from the terminated marriage. Moreover, all their offspring must be below 18 at the time of the separation.
Nevertheless, the Housing Board may waive the consent requirement on a case-by-case basis due to reasons, like financial difficulties and lack of family support.
This was stated by the Ministry in response to questions from Louis Ng Kok Kwang, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon Group Representation Constituency (GRC).
Meanwhile, Ng asked how can single unwed parents under the age of 35 qualify to purchase or rent a residential property from the Housing Board.
“Unmarried parents aged at least 21 and above can apply to buy or rent a flat with their parents. They are encouraged to live with their parents for mutual care and support to raise the child,” replied the Ministry.
“For those without family support, HDB exercises flexibility on a needs-basis to allow them to buy or rent a flat. They have to meet the eligibility criteria set for singles such as the income ceiling of $6,000 for buying a flat.”
On Ng’s query on the criteria used by HDB to determine if unwed parents can afford other housing options, the Ministry said the government agency evaluates their housing budget based on their CPF savings and income, taking into account their estimated living expenses.
This article was edited by Keshia Faculin.