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New ‘Three-Generation’ flats for extended families

SINGAPORE — A new type of flat catering to multi-generation families living together will be piloted in Yishun under next month’s Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise.

SINGAPORE — A new type of flat catering to multi-generation families living together will be piloted in Yishun under next month’s Build-to-Order (BTO) exercise.

The HDB said yesterday that 80 of these “Three-Generation (3Gen)” units — each having four bedrooms and three bathrooms — will be launched initially and it will “monitor the response and calibrate the supply” accordingly. The flats have an internal floor area of about 115 square metres — slightly bigger than five-room flats, which can measure up to 110 sq m.

To be eligible for these flats, applicants must form a multi-generation family comprising at least a couple and a parent. The HDB said to ensure that these purpose-built flats “serve the target group”, subletting of any rooms will not be allowed during the five-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP). After fulfilling the MOP, these flats can only be resold in the open market to other eligible multi-generation families.

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said that, as a “social objective”, the Government wants extended families to live together and provide a support network.

For instance, grandparents can look after their grandchildren as most couples are dual-income, he noted.

“I doubt it is a huge demand, so we will try it out and if it works ... If it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter,” he said.

Property analysts said the new type of flats will help promote family bonding. They agreed that the demand is uncertain but noted that there is a need for these flats given the ageing population. Ms Christine Li, Head of Research and Consultancy at OrangeTee, said that given the size of the 3Gen flats, she expects their prices to be “more affordable” than some of the executive flats.

The HDB also announced that it will enhance the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) to allow parents to apply for a three-room flat. Previously, parents under the scheme could only apply for a studio apartment or a two-room flat in the same BTO project as their married child.

Starting from the BTO exercises next month and in November, the HDB will set aside up to 15 per cent of the studio apartments, and the two- and three-room flats in a BTO project (subject to a minimum of 20 units each). In total, about 400 pairs of new flats will be offered under the scheme in the coming BTO exercises.

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