Unwed parents ages 21 and older can now look into buying property before marriage, according to Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, in Parliament yesterday.
He further stated that in addition to lowering the age limit for single unwed parents to purchase Built-To-Order (BTO) flats, the Housing Development Board (HDB) has also expanded the size of BTO flats they are allowed to buy.
Single, unwed parents 21 years and older will now be granted the opportunity to purchase up to a three-room flat in a non-mature estate.
Single, unwed parents above 21 years can now buy BTO flats in non-mature estates. Photo: iStock
Buying property before marriage – unwed parents must be 21 years old and above
The amendments to existing rules were announced by Minister Wong at the Ministry of National Development (MND) Committee of Supply (COS) debate.
Member of Parliament Seah Kian Peng posed the question of how the housing needs of families headed under single, unwed parents could be better met and supported.
Minister Wong stated in response that the MND and HDB are committed to serving vulnerable groups in Singapore, including those of single unwed parents.
MND, HDB committed to serving vulnerable groups, including those of unwed single parents. Photo: iStock
Parents have had to wait until they are 35, previously
Unwed parents are currently restricted to rules applicable to the ‘singles’ category and have to wait until they are 35 years old to look into buying property before marriage. They are also not eligible to apply for rental flats if they earn more than S$1500.
Further, under the Singles Singapore Citizen or the Joint Singles Scheme (as a co-applicant), unwed parents aged 35 and above can only buy 2-room new Flexi flats in non-mature estates.
They can, however, purchase resale flats with no restrictions placed on size or location, if they are able to do so.
Single parents who are divorced or widowed with at least one child under the age of 16, can also buy a flat under the Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (ASSIST) by the HDB who allocates a portion of 2 and 3-room flats in non-mature estates for single parents.
Parents who are unwed and living together as a family unit, are not however covered under the ASSIST scheme.
Single parents who are not married face restrictions currently when buying property. Photo: iStock
New rules allow all unwed parents to look into buying property before marriage
Although unwed parents above the age of 21 and under 35 have been allowed to buy new and resale flats in the past, this was based largely on their circumstances, and the cases were assessed by the HDB accordingly.
There has been no change in the ruling of unwed parents being able to request to purchase resale flats, and they can still continue to do so, with the option of public rental being open to them if they have “insufficient finances.”