Upgrading from renting a HDB flat to owning one is a significant milestone for any Singaporean.
In recent years, a growing number of public rental households in Singapore have made this transition, with approximately 8,300 families becoming HDB flat owners between 2014 and 2023.
In fact, last year saw nearly 950 families upgrading from rental flats to purchasing their very own homes. However, making the leap from rental to ownership isn’t easy, especially when you’re the sole breadwinner in your family. Luckily, there are a number of housing assistance schemes designed to ease your financial burden and support you throughout this process.
Still renting a HDB flat?
Before exploring the journey to homeownership, it’s essential to understand the options available for those of you who are still renting.
Public Rental Scheme
The Public Rental Scheme offers heavily subsidised housing options for lower-income Singapore Citizen households with limited housing alternatives or family support. To qualify for an HDB rental flat under this scheme, households must meet stringent eligibility criteria.
Available flat types include 1-room and 2-room units, with a limited supply of 3-room flats for larger families with children.
Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS)
The PPHS provides temporary housing solutions for families awaiting the completion of their new Build-To-Order (BTO) flats. Eligible applicants, with a monthly household income of S$7,000 or below, can access temporary accommodation until their new flats are ready for occupancy.
Read more: 3 Things About the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme That Might Interest You
Upgrading from rental to ownership
If you’re ready to buy your very own HDB flat, the good news is you don’t have to shoulder the entire payment alone. Families currently residing in HDB rental flats have the opportunity to transition to homeownership through various assistance schemes:
Enhanced CPF Housing Grants (EHG)
The EHG provides crucial financial support to first-time home buyers, including families transitioning from rental to ownership. Eligible households with monthly incomes of S$1,500 and below can receive grants of up to S$80,000 when purchasing an HDB BTO or up to S$160,000 for an HDB resale flat.
Approximately two-thirds of new HDB homeowners in 2023 used this grant to facilitate their upgrade to homeownership.
Fresh Start Housing Scheme
Designed for second-timer families with young children currently residing in HDB rental flats, the Fresh Start Housing Scheme aims to facilitate the purchase of 2-room Flexi flats and 3-room flats with a shorter lease of anywhere from 45 to 65 years.
Qualifying families will receive a Fresh Start Housing Grant of up to S$50,000, where it will be divided into a lump sum of S$35,000 and the remaining S$15,000 will be disbursed over a period of five years into their CPF Ordinary Account. Second -timers will also be subjected to a resale levy, which is limited to S$30,000 under the scheme.
Do note that if you’re buying a HDB flat with this scheme, it comes with the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 20 years compared to the current 5 years and the upcoming 10 years MOP that will take effect in the latter part of the year.
Step-Up Housing Grant
The Step-Up Housing Grant is another valuable resource for second-timer families or those who previously bought subsidised flats. This grant provides S$15,000 to eligible households seeking to purchase two- or three-room new or resale flats in non-mature estates.
Tenants’ Priority Scheme
The Tenants’ Priority Scheme allocates a percentage of flats during Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises specifically for families residing in public rental flats. This initiative aims to facilitate homeownership opportunities for these families by setting aside up to 10% of available 2-room Flexi and 3-room BTO/SBF flats.
|Available housing grants
|Enhanced CPF Housing Grants:
|Fresh Start Housing Scheme:
Step-Up CPF Housing Grant:
HDB flats for you
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