HDB will finetune its eligibility conditions and allocation process for PPHS, and also introduce a new $7,000 income ceiling for such flats.
The HDB on Tuesday (3 August) announced that 800 more rental flats will be set aside over the next two years for families awaiting the completion of their BTO flats.
It added that a household income ceiling of $7,000 will be introduced for those applying under the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS).
HDB noted that demand for interim rental housing from families waiting for the completion of their BTO units has significantly increased since 2020. Applications almost doubled from 1,370 in 2019 to 2,350 last year.
“To better support flat buyers affected by construction delays, HDB will increase the supply of flats for rental under PPHS,” it said.
In fact, about 200 of the 800 additional flats will be ready this year and will be progressively released for application from the fourth quarter of 2021.
The additional flats include unsold flats, vacated flats at sites that are presently undergoing the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) as well as possibly vacant staff apartments at various polytechnics which are temporarily available.
HDB said it will finetune its eligibility conditions and allocation process for PPHS from Wednesday (4 August) to prioritise families in greater need of temporary housing.
This comes as the supply of flats remains limited even as HDB raised its stock of PPHS units.
“PPHS flats are highly subsidised, and the income ceiling will help to ensure that the flats are allocated to those who are less able to afford renting a flat on the open market,” it said.
Moreover, priority will be given to married couples with children 18 years old and below, including expectant parents.
HDB shared that while the number of applicants for PPHS flats has increased since last year, about 50% of those invited to select a flat eventually did not do so.
“This could be due to a variety of reasons, such as locational preferences,” said HDB.
“However, this also suggests that not all applicants may be in urgent need of temporary housing, and some may be able to continue with their current housing arrangements for some time.”
With this, those who do not choose a flat after being invited twice to do so will have to “wait one year from the date of the second non-selection before they can apply for a PPHS flat again”.
This will also apply to those who did not proceed with payment after selecting a flat.
This will enable people with more urgent housing needs to secure a flat more quickly, said HDB.
Meanwhile, PPHS exercises will now be held once every two months, instead of monthly, to provide PPHS applicants with a bigger pool of flats to choose from.
This would also improve the chances of applicants to secure a flat during each selection exercise, reducing the need for repeated applications.
From the next exercise in October 2021, applicants will have 14 days to submit their applications, allowing HDB to process them earlier.
Introduced in 2013, PPHS provides an additional interim housing option for married couples waiting for the completion of their new flats.
To qualify for the scheme, the families should have booked an uncompleted flat from HDB.
“Given the limited supply of PPHS flats, we encourage households awaiting the completion of their BTO flats to continue living with their families or consider renting from the open market,” said HDB.
“Lower-income households without any housing options may contact HDB, and we will assess if we can offer them interim rental housing (IRH) on a case-by-case basis.”
HDB also encouraged potential home buyers to consider the waiting time of new flats, as well as “plan ahead for interim housing options before the completion of their BTO flats”.
Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org