Public housing is typically equated to low-quality housing. Hence, there is quite a negative connotation when someone lives in one of them. However, public housing in Singapore is different.
Singapore solved the housing crisis back in the 1960s and has since established itself as arguably one of the best in the world. The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is Singapore’s public housing authority. This government agency handles the planning and development of Singapore’s housing estates. Currently, there are over 1 million flats spread across 24 towns and 3 estates in Singapore and these flats are home to over 80% of Singapore’s resident population.
What makes them so good? Here are five things you should know about public housing in Singapore.
1. They are well-maintained, clean, and safe.
Singapore’s Housing & Development Board (HDB) ensures that the public housing towns are endowed with nothing but quality homes. Singapore has also made it a point that these towns are vibrant and community-centric. The country has definitely flexed its R&D muscle in making each of these cost-effective and a joy to live in.
2. They are made for the masses.
Singapore’s public housing is not only for those in low-income brackets, but it is also for Singapore’s masses in general. Depending on which income ceiling you belong to, your housing options can range from one or two-bedroom apartments to condominium-type spaces that even have their own swimming facilities.
3. They are highly affordable
Singapore’s public housing infrastructure can be from 20 to 30% cheaper than their private counterparts. Their build-to-order (BTO) flats are subsidized such that they are magnitudes lower in cost when compared to condominiums in the proximity. What’s nice about these BTO flats is that you can choose in a wide range of housing types ranging from two-room Flexi flats to the five-room 3Gen Flats.
4. There are ways to unlock the value of your flat
Homeowners can actually rent out rooms or even the entire flat in order to monetise their property. There is also the Lease Buyback Scheme which lets you sell the remaining lease of your flat to get a lump sum of cash as well as monthly payouts.
After a specified period, you are also sell your flat and move to a smaller or shorter-leased flat. Those moving from a larger flat to smaller flats may receive a Silver Housing Bonus that will earn them as much as $20, 000 in cash.
5. There are grants for first-time buyers.
Around 90% of Singaporeans in public housing have attained ownership status already. Do you want to buy your first home? Then you’re in luck.
First-timer families can enjoy grants up to $80,000 apart from generous discounts for a new flat. If you don’t mind getting a resale flat, the grants can go as high as $120,000. Pretty neat.
In Singapore, housing doesn’t have to be out of reach — or ugly. Thanks to Singapore’s strong political will and laser-focus vision, public housing doesn’t have to be a painful affair. Singapore’s public housing is a great option to fulfil your dream of owning your very own home.
For more details regarding the housing options that are available for you and your family, check out HDB’s official site.