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Grant to help extended families live close together

SINGAPORE — Couples who purchase resale flats to live near their parents will be given subsidies to do so, whether they are first-time buyers or otherwise, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the National Day Rally.

Grant to help extended families live close together

HDB flats. TODAY file photo

SINGAPORE — Couples who purchase resale flats to live near their parents will be given subsidies to do so, whether they are first-time buyers or otherwise, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the National Day Rally.

As part of a national effort to foster family ties and encourage more births, the Government is introducing a Proximity Housing Grant to help extended families live closer to one another.

In addition to couples who purchase resale flats with or near their parents, the grant will also be given when a resale unit is bought with or near one’s married children, the Prime Minister said tonight (Aug 23).

The grants will be given once to each eligible household. More details on this scheme will be announced by the Ministry of National Development soon.

“In the old days, we used to live in extended families, where everyone stayed under one roof. Now, people live in nuclear families, but many couples still want to stay with or near their parents; or parents often want to stay with or near their married children,” Mr Lee said.

“The grandparents can enjoy their grandchildren; and the adult children can help look after the old folks as they age,” he added.

The Prime Minister said that the Housing and Development (HDB) has various schemes to support families who wish to live with or close to one another. The Government has relooked these incentives and will relaunch them to make them more generous. 

Currently, the HDB offers the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme, which gives priority allocation to married children and their parents when they apply for pre-identified flats in the same Build-to-Order project. 

Another initiative, the Married Child Priority Scheme, sets aside up to 30 per cent of new public-flat supply for first-time buyers who want to reside with or near their parents, and up to 15 per cent of supply for families who are second-timers and who want to do so.

The Proximity Housing Grant was but one of several housing initiatives and improvements unveiled by the Prime Minister yesterday. Commenting on the housing announcements, Minister for Communications and Information, Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, said today that a home is an important asset that can go a long way “to ensure the future of our children”. 

“If there’s permanent housing for ... low-income Malay families with young children, it will provide a conducive environment for the children to grow in, to be able to receive a decent education and, more importantly, to allow parents to focus on other things such as making sure they have a regular job, at the same time using the conducive environment to ensure their children continue to receive the best education possible,” said Dr Yaacob, who is also Minister in charge of Muslim Affairs. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY LAURA PHILOMIN

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