Buying an HDB Build-To-Order (BTO) flat is a rite of passage for many Singaporeans, with many young couples choosing this option for their first home purchase. However, similar to enrolling your first child into a desired primary school, buying a BTO flat will require an element of luck to successfully ballot for your desired BTO project.
Thankfully, there are various priority schemes that can improve your chances of balloting for your BTO flat.
While not a priority scheme, first-time BTO applicants (also known as first-timers in HDB lingo) do enjoy privileges. A higher proportion of flat supply is set aside during each BTO launch for first-timers. This can vary depending on whether you are also eligible for the other priority schemes. First-timers also receive an additional ballot chance (for a total of 2 ballot chances) compared to second-timers.
If first-timers are unsuccessful after 2 rounds of application for BTO projects in non-mature estates, they will also receive an additional ballot chance starting from their third application, for every application they make for BTO launches in non-mature estates.
For couples comprising a first-timer and a second-timer, HDB considers them as a first-timer family who can enjoy the same first-timer privileges. However, do note that they do not enjoy the same housing grants as a first-timer couple.
Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS)
This is the most well-known priority scheme as many young couples who opt to buy a BTO flat are also setting up a new family.
For first-timer married couples, the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) allows those who have children or expecting a child to receive another ballot chance to help them get their flat more easily. They also benefit from the larger flat allocation (up to 30% of BTO flats and 50% of SBF flats) set aside for PPS applicants.
To be eligible, you and your spouse must be first-time buyers and have a citizen child (i.e. natural offspring from a legal marriage or legally adopted ) aged 18 years and below. Adoptive parents must have the Adoption Order of the child. Those who are expecting a child can also apply for the PPS with a doctor’s certification of the pregnancy.
PPS applicants can also apply for Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) or Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS). You can only receive priority for up to 2 schemes.
Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS)
The Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) intended to encourage families to live near each other and support each other communally.
Both you and your parents are applying for new BTOs in the same estate, one for yourself and one for your parents. Your parents can apply for 2-room or 3-room BTO flat while you can apply for all flat sizes, 2-room and above.
Up to 15% of 2-room or 3-room flats will be reserved for MGPS (with a minimum of 20 units) for the parents and a corresponding number of units will be reserved for MGPS for the married/ engaged couple.
For balloting purposes, you will be given 3 chances in total, one under MGPS (which covers both yours and your parents’), one for your own application, one for your parents’ application. Thus, it is possible to end up in a scenario where your parents successfully balloted and you didn’t or vice versa. Only if you are successful under the MGPS ballot would both your and your parents’ applications be considered jointly.
This priority scheme is available for second-timers.
Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS)
The Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) is also another scheme intended to encourage families to live near each other and support each other communally. However, the difference is that your parents do not get a new BTO flat. Either they move in with you in your new BTO flat or they remain in their existing residence.
The MCPS caters to couples who want to move near their parents’ residence (within 4 km) or want their parents to move in with them into the BTO flat. Up to 30% of the units will be reserved for first-timer families under MCPS and up to 15% for second-timer families. On top of the flat allocation, MCPS applicants also receive an additional ballot chance.
This priority scheme is available for second-timers.
Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS)
The Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS) is intended to encourage the formation of larger families. This scheme helps families with more than two children get a flat more easily. Up to 5% of BTO and SBF flats are allotted to eligible applicants.
To be eligible, you and/or your spouse must be a Singapore citizen (SC). You must be a Singapore citizen if you are divorced or widowed. Your family must have at least 3 children (i.e. natural offspring from a legal marriage or legally adopted). Divorced parents must have legal custody, care and control of their children. Adoptive parents must have the Adoption Order of their children. The third child must be a Singapore citizen born on or after 1 January 1987 and the other children must be either Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs). You also must not have previously bought a flat under the TCPS.
After key collection, the three children listed in your TCPS application are subject to housing restrictions. They must continue to live with the parents in the new flat throughout the MOP and may not 1) Rent an HDB flat (including DBSS) or 2) buy, or be listed as occupiers, a flat from HDB or on the open market, a DBSS flat or EC unit from developer.
In terms of balloting, TCPS applicants will ballot first with other TCPS applicants. This means that if there are fewer TCPS applicants than the allocated flats, TCPS applicants would be guaranteed the chance to purchase a BTO flat. If unsuccessful during the TCPS ballot round, the applicants would be included in a second ballot round, together with other public applicants.
Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (Divorced/Widowed Parents) (ASSIST)
The Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (Divorced/Widowed Parents) (ASSIST) provides assistance to divorced or widowed parents with children under 19 years old.
ASSIST applicants benefit from the increased flat allocation of up to 5% of BTO 2-room Flexi and 3-room flats in non-mature estates. This quota is shared with the 30% quota set aside for second-timers.
To be eligible, you must have at least 1 child (i.e. natural offspring from a legal marriage or legally adopted) aged 18 years or below. Adoptive parents must have Adoption Order of your children. You also must not have acquired any interest in an HDB flat or private residential property (except for your matrimonial flat/ property) after the date of divorce, separation or demise of your spouse.
Tenants’ Priority Scheme (TPS)
The Tenants’ Priority Scheme (TPS) helps HDB rental flat tenants to buy their own homes.
TPS applicants benefit from the flat allocation of up to 10% of 2-room Flexi and 3-room BTO/ SBF units. This flat allocation is shared with those applying under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), Relocation and Resettlement.
To be eligible, you and your family must have been living in an HDB public rental flat for at least 2 years.
Senior Priority Scheme (SPS)
The Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) helps elderly residents who wish to buy a 2-room Flexi to age-in-place in a familiar environment or live near their parents or married child.
SPS applicants benefit from the flat allocation of at least 20% (or half of the 40% of 2-room Flexi flats offered during BTO launches set aside for elderly applicants).
To be eligible for this scheme, you must be at least 55 years old at the time of application and the lease must be able to last you, your spouse, and all buyers to the age of 95 and above.
For SPS (near existing flat), the new 2-room Flexi flat must be located within 4 km of your current flat or owner-occupied private property.
For SPS (married applicants living near or with parents/ married child), you must be married and at least one of your parents/ married child is SC or SPR. You can still qualify for SPS if your parent/child is widowed or divorced. You can either apply to 1) buy a 2-room Flexi flat within 4 km from an HDB flat or private residence that your parent/ married child resides in or 2) buy a 2-room Flexi flat to live with your parent/married child (their names must be included in the flat application.
If your parent or married child owns more than one property, the property they are residing in is the one used for the proximity reference. If your parent or married child does not own the private residential property they are residing in, it must be owner-occupied by their immediate family members (i.e. child, parent(s), parent(s)-in-law, or siblings).
After collecting the keys to your new flat, the parent/married child who helped you qualify for the SPS must continue to live within 4 km of your new flat throughout the 5-year MOP.
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