Singles and first-time married couples to benefit from new housing measures

Singapore will implement new public housing measures to benefit first-timer married couples, single buyers, second-timer buyer, divorcees and the seniors.

   Singapore had announced a set of measures to encourage marriage and parenthood in January, including providing affordable and available public housing, assisting reproduction, as well as incentives of healthcare and paternity leave.
   The city-state's National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan told  Parliament on March 8, the scheme that gives priority allocation for new public housing flats to first-time married couples with a citizen child below the age of 16, will be extended to pregnant mothers.
   Meanwhile, the scheme that gives affordable and lower-than- market-price rentals to couples who are waiting for the completion of their own public houses, will be extended to couples who are married but without children, sometime next year.
     For single buyers, the government will give their right to buy new public houses, considering the increasing resale prices. But they are still required to buy only small-sized houses and earned less than 5,000 Singapore dollars (4,013 U.S. dollars) a month.
   The single buyers should be aged 35 and above, who are previously allowed to buy only resale public houses. Khaw said about 4,000 do so each year.
   The second-time buyers, especially those divorcees or widowers with children below the age of 16, will also enjoy benefits from the new measures. The second-timer quota for 2- and 3-room flats in non-mature estates will be doubled to 30 percent.
   The government also introduced measures for the elderly, to let them live near where their married children live.
   In addition, the government also revealed that they are considering to cap the ratio of foreign tenants in each public housing flat. This includes those here on work passes as well as permanent residents, but excludes Malaysians as they face less integration issues, said Khaw, local paper Straits Times said.