News: HDB has disbursed $550 million under Proximity Housing Grant

Feb 17, 2020

A total of 29,600 households have benefited from the grant. 

HDB has disbursed $550 million to a total of 29,600 households under the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) scheme, which was introduced in August 2015, reported The Straits Times.

RELATED STORY: HDB’s Proximity Housing Grant (PHG): It’s All About Familia

Under the scheme, first-timer families or singles who acquire a resale flat within four kilometres of their child’s or parents’ home will receive $20,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Families or singles who purchase a resale flat in order to live with their parents or children receive a higher grant of $30,000 and $15,000, respectively.

Out of the 30,100 applicants for the scheme, about 4,500 families and singles have put up home within the same HDB flat as their children or parents in the past four years.

HDB data showed that the figure represented a third of the 96,800 who registered from 24 August 2015 to 31 December 2019 for resale flats.

Meanwhile, HDB revealed that it has received 26,500 applications for new flats from first-time buyers in the last four months of 2019.

Of those applications, about 80% or 20,800 households were qualified for HDB’s Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG), which replaces the former Additional CPF Housing Grant as well as the Special CPF Housing Grant.

RELATED STORY: HDB’s New Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) and Higher Income Ceilings: What You Need to Know

HDB also registered about 7,300 resale flat applications from 11 September to 31 December 2019, half of which come from first-time buyers. Nearly all applicants were qualified for the EHG.

For Sandra Tan and her 32-year old fiance Ang Shouchen, the grants helped during their search for a home.

The couple turned to the resale market after several failed attempts to buy a Build-To-Order (BTO) unit due to high demand.

Resale flats offered them a quicker way to home ownership, and the grants for Tan’s case were higher compared to those for a BTO flat.

Tan eventually purchased a four-room resale flat in Choa Chu Kang, near Ang’s parents – benefiting from a total of $90,000 in housing grants, which consist of a CPF Housing Grant of $50,000, a $20,000 PHG and $20,000 EHG.

Huttons director of research Lee Sze Teck noted that PHG was a “very good” social policy since it encourages families to live closer to provide support to one another.

Aside from being an “encouraging sign”, the large number of singles looking to reside near their parents indicates that the PHG scheme is achieving its aims, added Nicholas Mak, head of research and consultancy at ERA Realty.

However, Mak believes HDB could provide families with more options by going beyond the four-kilometer radius, albeit it could lead to problems.

“If you widen it, it will make more households eligible (for the scheme), but it will also weaken family ties. People will end up living in a totally different town and have transport problems,” he admitted.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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