HDB will revise the eligibility criteria for rental flats to safeguard rental flats for the deserving, so that they are not crowded out by the less needy. Minister for National Development, Mr Mah Bow Tan announced this in Parliament today as part of a package of measures to enhance the rental housing safety net to help Singaporeans weather the economic downturn. He explained that,
It is necessary to safeguard rental flats as the final safety net for the truly needy even as we accelerate the building of more rental flats. This will ensure that the heavy subsidies are directed at the truly needy and they get help as quickly as possible.
The revised rental eligibility criteria will incorporate a holistic assessment of the rental applicant’s housing need, based on the following principles:
Those who can afford their own housing should not compete with the needy for a rental flat. The existing income ceiling of $1,500 per month will be retained. In addition, for ex-HDB lessees who have enjoyed ahousing subsidy, HDB will take into account their assets, including accumulated savings and proceeds from the last flat sale. Those who previously own private property will not qualify for a rental flat.
The family should be the first line of support for those in need. If the applicant has children who own private property(ies) or HDB flat(s) with room(s) that may accommodate him/her, he/she should not qualify for a rental flat.
As rental flats are heavily subsidised, HDB will continue to permanently debar those who have enjoyed 2 housing subsidies. The 30-month debarment for those who have just sold their flats will also be retained (See summary in Annex 1).
The changes will be implemented with immediate effect.