Written by: Rita Magallona
Who says singles have to go solo? Sharing an apartment with a sibling, friend, or colleague is becoming more common among singles. Some do this to save money on housing expenses, while others like the idea of having company.
These arrangements can turn into something more permanent. As housemates become as close as family, they may choose to pool their resources and purchase a flat. In Singapore, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has made provisions for this trend through the Joint Singles Scheme or the Orphans Scheme.
What Do You Need to Know About These Schemes?
Joint Singles Scheme
With the Joint Singles Scheme, two to four single Singapore citizens (SC) can jointly purchase a new two-room Flexi flat in a non-mature estate or a resale HDB flat. To avail of this scheme, you and your co-applicants should be:
- 35 years old or older
- not married to each other.
This scheme allows SC siblings to jointly buy a new or resale flat of any kind. You and your sibling/s can avail of this scheme if all of the applicants are:
- 35 years old or older
- orphans (both parents are deceased)
- the child of at at least one parent who had been a Singapore citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident
Both these schemes are funded by the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) and therefore have all the same uses and general eligibility requirements as other EHG housing schemes. Some specifics may vary.
Are You Eligible for the EHG Under These Schemes?
If you and your single co-applicants want to know if you can avail of either the Joint Singles Scheme or the Orphans Scheme, here are a few eligibility questions you need to answer:
- Income: Is your combined monthly average gross income over the period of 12 months before you applied $9,000 or less?
- First Time Owner: Are all of you applying for a housing grant for the first time? Has none of you ever taken the CPF Housing Grant to buy an Executive Condominium unit, Design, Build, and Sell Scheme (DBSS) flat or an HDB resale flat?
- Employment: Is at least one of you continuously employed for the 12 months before you applied for the EHG? Is he or she still working?
- Remaining Lease: Does the flat you are planning to buy have enough remaining lease so that you and your co-applicant can live in it until both of you turn 95? If not, you may get a prorated portion of the EHG you are eligible for. But the flat should have at least 20 years of remaining lease.
- Property Ownership/Interest: Will this flat be the only property any of you will own, either here or overseas? Did you or your co-applicant dispose of any such properties in the 30 months prior to your new flat application?
How Much Can You Get?
The EHG amount you will receive is based on the average gross monthly income of your household – the combined income of all working persons who will live there, both co-applicants and occupiers – over the period of 12 months up to the date that you applied for the grant.
The scheme is socialised, so those who earn less will receive a larger grant amount while those who earn more are eligible for less. For example, if your average income only reaches $1,500 or less, you are eligible for a grant of $80,000.
On the other hand, if you and your housemates are doing well and your combined average monthly income reaches $9,000, you will only get a grant of $5,000.
How Do You Apply?
For whichever scheme you are availing, you can download and fill out the EHG application form and submit it with the necessary income documents to the HDB during your flat booking appointment.
If you qualify and there are two of you who are co-applicants, half of the grant will be credited to your CPF Ordinary Account and half will be credited to your co-applicant’s account. If more than two persons applied jointly, the grant will be credited to only two of you, with each receiving half of the grant.
With this scheme, you and your siblings or friends can finally have a place to call your own. And if you prefer to go solo, consider the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme. There’s more than one way to becoming a homeowner.
Buying a resale flat? Ohmyhome’s HDB Buyer Agent Service is at a fixed fee from $2288.