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Complete Guide To Priority Schemes For HDB BTO Flats

Maximise your BTO chances.

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.

Read Also: Strategise Your BTO Application: Is It More Advantageous To Apply For Your HDB BTO Flat Later In The BTO Application Period?

First-Timer Privileges

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.

First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples)

From the October 2023 BTO sales exercise onwards, a new category of First-Timer (Parents & Married Couples) or FT(PMC) will be introduced to better prioritise young families buying their first home and help them to settle down more quickly. This FT(PMC) group is a subset of the existing First-Timer category and will form about 10% of all First-Timer family applicants.

To be considered a FT(PMC), first-time applicants must:

  • Be families with at least one Singapore Citizen child aged 18 and below or married couples aged 40 and below; and
  • Never owned a local residential property before; and
  • Have not been invited to book a BTO/ SBF flat by HDB, in the past five years before their flat application.

These FT(PMC) applicants will receive an additional ballot chance for their BTO/ SBF flat applications. This will bring their total ballot chances to three, one more than other first-timer applicants and two more than non-first-timer applicants.

FT(PMC) will also be prioritised in flat supply and allocation as they will be included in the new Family and Parenthood Priority Scheme (FPPS), which sets aside up to 40% and 60% in BTO and SBF exercises respectively.

Additionally, FT(PMC) will be given first priority for flats set aside under FPPS when applying for 4-room and smaller BTO flats in non-mature estates where there’s a relatively larger flat supply. FT(PMC) applicants will be shortlisted ahead of other applicants under FPPS and be more likely to be invited for flat selection.

FPPS applicants can also apply for the Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) or Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS). You can only receive priority for up to 2 schemes.

Read Also: How The Family & Parenthood Priority Parenthood Scheme (FPPS) Helps Singapore Families Get Their First BTO Flats

Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS)

The Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) is 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 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.

Read Also: How You Can Use Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) and Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) To Increase Your BTO Ballot Chances

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.

Read Also: HDB Fresh Start Housing Scheme: Does It Make Financial Sense For People Staying In Public Rental Flats To Buy Their Own 2-Room Flat?

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.

Featured Image Credit: Giovanni Lidya/DollarsAndSense

Read Also: 6 Lesser-Known Facts About Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) For Singaporeans

This article was first published in November 2021 and has been updated with the latest changes in scheme

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