All You Need to Know About 3-Generation HDB Flats

Ted Chen

Ted Chen

Although the Housing Development Board (HDB) has built bigger Executive Apartments and Maisonette flats in the past, the last of these were built in 2000, and 5-room flats became the go-to type on offer for Build-to-Order (BTO) launches.

Over a decade later, the 3-Generation (3Gen) flat was introduced in 2013 as part of a BTO launch. It aimed to cater to families with children who wish to stay with their elderly loved ones.

These flats were offered till 2017, and the newest ones will be reaching their Minimum Occupancy Period (MOP) in 2022. For families looking for bigger unit space without sacrificing on the age of the flat, these 3Gen flats would be their best option.

How is a 3Gen HDB flat different in size?

Typical 4 or 5-room flats have been built to contain three bedrooms ranging from 90-112 square metres (sqm).

3Gen flats are slightly bigger, often in the 115-120 sqm range, and come with four bedrooms and three bathrooms, providing more options for comfort and personal privacy. Here’s a sample floor plan of a 3Gen flat:

Source HDB

The extra room (Main Bedroom 2), sits opposite from the other bedrooms and has its own ensuite bathroom. These 3Gen flats do share a common entrance, just like any other HDB apartment. This is different from dual-key condo units that often have a shared foyer beyond the main door, which then leads to two doors for separated units.

Although 3Gen flats have 4 bedrooms, their overall size is smaller than the older Executive or Maisonette Apartments that can go up to 140 sqm in size. Hence when buying a 3Gen flat, bear in mind that the living space will not feel as spacious at those older flats, despite having an equal, or more individual bedrooms.

What is the eligibility criteria for 3Gen flats?

While applying for a flat may be easy to do, the application process for this kind of flat is entirely different. Since this category aims to house multi-generational families, your family must be deemed eligible to be able to apply for the flat.

  • Married couples with children and elderly parents to take care of.
  • Widowed or divorced individual with a child and a parent.
  • At least one parent needs to be a Singapore citizen or permanent resident.

Grandparents’ income will also be included within the household when balloting for a 3Gen flat. Naturally this ceiling is higher than for other flats, and currently stands at $21,000.

What are the benefits of a 3Gen flat?

With more members of a family living under the same roof, a multi-generational family’s safety is doubly assured. When parents are busy at work, a grandparent can step in to look after the little ones. On the flip side, should grandparents need more attention for their help, their children are right there to provide support.

Source: Unsplash

Since most families are now becoming dual-income, there’s an increased need for help around the house, especially for couples with young children. These 3Gen families provide an optimised housing to fill these specific needs.

Special resale/renting rules that apply to 3Gen flats

You will only be able to put your flat up for sale or subletting after you’ve reached your five-year minimum occupancy period (MOP). One thing to note is that you will only be able to sell or sublet to eligible multi-generation families.

Despite the stricter criteria, finding a buyer or tenant will not be that tough as there are only limited number of units in the market. And since no new 3Gen flats were built after 2017, that supply will not be growing much.

Acquiring a 3-Generation flat does need careful planning and consideration. Engaged or newly married couples should discuss with their parents on whether living together benefits everyone, bearing in mind the length of stay and whether there is any intention to sell the flat once the MOP has been met.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Are new 3Gen flats still being built?

No, the last 3Gen flats were offered in a 2017 BTO exercise.

What is the Minimum Occupancy Period for 3Gen flats?

The Minimum Occupancy Period for 3Gen flats is 5 years, the same as other HDB flats that are not under the Prime Location Public Housing model.

Who can buy a 3Gen flat?

Only a 3-generation family can buy a 3Gen flat, and grandparents have to be included as part of the household income eligibility.

Cover image: HDB

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