Singaporeans call for additional subsidies to make flats in prime areas more affordable

Victor Kang5 Jul 2021

According to public feedback gathered by the HDB and MND, most Singaporeans want the Government to provide additional subsidies for flats in prime locations. 

Most Singaporeans want the Government to provide additional subsidies for public housing built within prime locations to keep such units more affordable and accessible for all Singaporeans, reported TODAY.

These locations include those in the Core Central Region (CCR) such as Chinatown, Tanjong Pagar, and Bukit Timah, as well as those near the CBD, such as the Greater Southern Waterfront (GSW).

To ensure that these flats would remain affordable over time, such flats should only be resold to the Government, who may have to implement eligibility criteria for subsequent resale buyers.

These were among the feedback gathered by the HDB and MND from over 6,500 members of the public during various engagement sessions seeking views on how to keep upcoming public housing developments in prime areas accessible, affordable and inclusive for Singaporeans.

At one virtual public engagement session by government feedback unit Reach, National Development Minister Desmond Lee shared that keeping public housing in prime areas affordable, accessible and inclusive for Singaporeans remains the “core principle” which the government is committed to upholding.

“But how we implement this policy and how we adapt and adjust our public housing policies and strategies over the years and decades ahead must keep up to the changing demographics and changing society that we see in Singapore,” he said as quoted by TODAY.

Aside from providing additional subsidies, respondents also supported “recovering these additional subsidies in some way when the flats are sold to ensure equitability with other flat owners who would not be accorded this additional subsidy”.

The Government will also need to determine whether future developments within prime areas will cater to low-income Singaporeans, middle-income households, or those working in the central areas.

There is also the issue of the income ceiling for public housing in prime locations, said Lee.

Currently, the income ceiling is pegged at $14,000 for families and $7,000 for single buyers.

Lee questioned if the income ceiling eligibility criteria is sufficient to ensure that flats in prime locations remain accessible to Singaporeans.

He pointed that young graduates with not much earning can afford such flats with financial help from parents. Another group of buyers who can afford these flats are retirees with no income but have accumulated wealth over the years.

Lee revealed that while the Government is considering offering additional subsidies for flats in prime areas to keep them affordable, it is also considering how it can ‘claw back’ capital gains made by homeowners from selling their flats in prime locations.

Some suggested solutions from the public include imposing resale levies, or clawing back the subsidies if there is an upside for sellers. Other feedback includes a longer Minimum Occupation Period (MOP), and disallowing flats from renting out the flat, even after the MOP, which would help to encourage owners to live in their flats longer.   

MND is wrapping up its engagement sessions and will study possible measures in greater detail.


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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email:


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