Khaw Boon Wan: Housing Policies Continue To Support Family Formation And Ties

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Monday (Dec 1) that housing policies will continue to support strong family formation, and more will be done to help extended families live close to each other in 2015.

In a blogpost, Mr Khaw said in the November Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise, there were several firsts. Firstly, the Housing & Development Board (HDB) launched the first housing project in Tampines North, and with about 1,500 units, it is HDB’s largest offering in a mature estate in a long time.

“Children growing up with their parents in Tampines can now hope to buy new flats near them,” he wrote.

Secondly, 56 units of 3Gen flats were offered – the first time these are available in a mature estate such as Tampines. Lastly, MND introduced quotas to make it easier, and offered greater priority, for married children and their parents to apply to live together or close by through the enhanced Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS).

Close to 6,000 family applicants have applied to live with or close to their parents and married children through the enhanced MCPS. The enhancements started from November’s BTO and Sale of Balance Flats exercises, which were launched on Nov 25.

“Not surprisingly, the response to these initiatives was very positive. One in three family applicants applied to live with or close to their parents or married children through the enhanced MCPS,” Mr Khaw revealed.

“One hundred and twenty-three multi-generation families applied for the 56 units of 3Gen flats at Tampines GreenRidges. The supply at Tampines North was oversubscribed by more than 1.3 times,” he added.

Property firm ERA Realty said the numbers showed that housing demand for BTO flats has stabilised. “HDB’s move to ramp up the BTO (supply) from 2011 to 2014 has paid off, and it is timely that they slow down the BTO programme for 2015 to about 16,000 flats,” said ERA Realty’s key executive officer, Mr Eugene Lim.

“By also conducting four BTO launches next year (once a quarter) versus the six BTO launches in the past (once every two months), the resale HDB market could see the return of more buyers and hopefully in 2015, will see an increase in transactions from the expected all-time low resale volume this year of around 17,000 units,” he added.

For 2015, even more will be done to help families stay close to each other. HDB will launch another 360 3Gen flats, including 150 units in Tampines. It will also launch another 1,200 new flats in Tampines North, giving priority to those whose parents or married children are already living in the neighbourhood.

HDB will also launch its first BTO project in Bidadari, with over 2,200 units to be put on offer in the second half of next year. Parents or married children currently living in Toa Payoh will get special priority under the MCPS for the Bidadari project, the minister pointed out.

“Our family is what makes us happy, and that which gives meaning to our life. As 2014 draws to a close, let us be reminded again, to always make time to spend with our family and loved ones, and enjoy life to its fullest,” Mr Khaw said.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *