On 4 March 2020, the Ministry of National Development (MND) and Housing Development Board (HDB) announced some good news: there will be enhancements to the Silver Housing Bonus (SHB), Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS), and Alternative Housing Option for Seniors. These changes are in response to the diverse housing needs of all Singaporeans.
Enhancements to the Silver Housing Bonus (SHB)
The Silver Housing Bonus (SHB) was introduced to help elderly households with their retirement income when they right-size from a larger flat into a smaller one.
How it works:
You sell your current flat and buy a smaller one to receive a cash bonus and a stream of retirement income for life.
How to qualify:
Seniors must top up their CPF Retirement Account (RA) and join CPF LIFE, with part of the proceeds unlocked from right-sizing. The amount of top-up (capped at $60,000) depends on the amount of proceeds unlocked.
|Previous SHB||Enhanced SHB (effective 1 March 2020)|
|Top-up amount capped at $60,000 = You will enjoy the maximum cash bonus of $20,000||Top-up amount capped at $60,000 = You will enjoy the maximum cash bonus of $30,000.
Now, seniors will receive a cash bonus of $1 for every $2 topped, instead of $1 for every $3 top-up.
|After making a first top-up of $60,000, seniors may be required to make a second top-up, depending on their remaining proceeds and RA balances.||There will be no second top-up required.|
|Seniors have to be selling a larger flat and buying a 3-room or smaller flat.||Seniors need not sell a larger flat.
They can now qualify as long as they have proceeds* from the move and buy a 3-room or smaller flat.
Note: Under the enhanced SHB, proceeds* are defined as the selling price of the current property minus the sum of any outstanding loan on the current property, the purchase price of the next flat, and resale levy payable.
Private property owners right-sizing to an HDB flat can qualify if their private property has an annual value not exceeding $13,000. The annual value of your property is calculated by multiplying your property’s monthly market rent by 12.
Enhancements to the Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS)
The Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS) allows senior homeowners who are 65 years old and above to unlock the value of their flat while continuing to live in it or renting out spare bedrooms.
How it works:
You sell part of the lease of your flat to HDB (excluding short-lease flats, HUDC, and Executive Condominium units) to receive a cash bonus and a stream of retirement income for life.
How to qualify:
Seniors must top up at least $60,000 to RA to qualify for the maximum LBS bonus.
|Flat type||Previous LBS (up to)||Enhanced LBS (effective 4)|
|3-room or smaller||$20,000||$30,000|
The enhancements to the SHB and LBS will take effect from March 4, 2020. Those who have applied for either scheme but have not yet received their bonus will also benefit and can expect to receive the enhanced bonus from April 1, 2020 onwards.
An Alternative Housing Option for Seniors
A new flat typology that integrates public housing with care services to support seniors will be launched in Bukit Batok in May 2020. Prior to this, there was a series of focus groups conducted by the MND and MOH. A pilot development comprising about 160 units garnered positive feedback, asseniors loved the idea of community living.
Seniors can look forward to:
- 32 sqm flats
- Senior-friendly fittings
- Larger bathrooms
- Features that accommodate mobility needs
- Blocks with large communal spaces on every floor
- Facilities that encourage social interaction
- More details will be shared in the coming weeks.
Interested in the SHB? Look out for upcoming May sales exercises for Build-To-Order (BTO) projects with two-room Flexi flats that will take place at Choa Chu Kang, Pasir Ris, Sembawang, Tengah, and Toa Payoh. In August 2020, there will be 4,100 flats offered in Ang Mo Kio, Bishan, Geylang, Tampines, and Woodlands.
Ready to right-size? If you need assistance to guide you through the process, Ohmyhome’s team of experienced and knowledgeable property agents are here to help. Our team can assist seniors selling old HDB flats with their financial calculations, free of charge.