The decision by HDB not to provide direct financial subsidies for rental units on the open market was made to prevent driving up market rentals and inducing demand.
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has no plans to provide flat buyers with direct financial subsidies to help them rent interim housing in the open market, said the Ministry of National Development on Monday (4 October).
“We recognise that delays to the completion of Build-To-Order (BTO) flats have caused inconvenience to flat buyers and affected their plans,” it said.
MND assured that HDB is “working closely with contractors and relevant government agencies to keep construction work on track to meet the revised timelines, while ensuring that project quality and safety standards are not compromised”.
It made the statement in response to Member of Parliament Edward Chia Bing Hui’s question on whether it would consider providing direct subsidies to HDB flat buyers for interim housing rental.
The ministry describes such a move as counter-productive since it would only make renting more expensive.
“Given the COVID-19 situation, many other families looking for temporary housing may also be turning to the open market for rental. Providing direct subsidies may induce demand and drive up market rentals,” it said.
The ministry pointed that not all flat buyers need help with interim housing, given that many were “able to find alternative housing arrangements with family members or on the open market”.
The Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) also provides an additional option for flat buyers who need assistance with accommodation while they wait for their BTO flats to be completed, it added.
MND noted that HDB would increase the supply of PPHS flats from this year and in the next two years. The scheme’s eligibility conditions and allocation process had also been finetuned by HDB “to prioritise families in greater need of subsidised temporary housing”.
“For low-income households with no family support and no other housing option, other than PPHS, HDB will consider offering Interim Rental Housing (IRH) on a case-by-case basis,” said the ministry.
“HDB will also consider waiving the forfeiture and the one-year wait out period for flat buyers who have been affected by these delays and, as a result, choose to cancel their BTO flat booking to buy a resale flat, based on an assessment of the flat buyers’ specific circumstances.”
Cheryl Chiew, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.