Application for Fresh Start Housing Scheme opens

The Fresh Start Housing Scheme – which aims to help second-timer families in rental flats buy a home – on Thursday (Dec 1) opened for applications, the Ministry of National Development (MND) and the Housing Development Board (HDB) announced in a joint media release.

Under the scheme, families who qualify will be able to by a new 2-room Flexi flat. The flats will come with shorter leases, ranging from 45 to 65 years, to keep the price affordable, and will also come with a longer Minimum Occupation Period of 20 years, to ensure a stable home for the children.

In a blogpost on Thursday, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said that the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) and HDB will assess the readiness of families who apply, and check in with families who are on the scheme to ensure they remain on track.

“We are starting with a more targeted approach. So the number of Fresh Start families may not be large to begin with,” Mr Wong said.

“But we will keep the scheme open, and families who are keen but do not qualify on their first attempt can apply again when they are more ready. Meanwhile, I encourage them to persevere toward home ownership and seek help to improve their situation,” he added.

Mr Wong also appointed a Fresh Start Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to support outreach effort and provide guidance on implementation of the scheme.

Dr Maliki was Minister of State at MND when the scheme was initiated and his experience will help to ensure its smooth implementation, the release said.

Below are the other committee members:

1. Dr Koh Poh Koon, Minister of State, Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Trade and Industry
2. Assoc Prof Dr Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Social and Family
3. Ms Denise Phua, Mayor, Central Singapore District
4. Mr Mohd Ali Mahmood, CEO, PPIS
5. Mr Samuel Ng, CEO of Montfort Care
6. Dr Sudha Nair, Executive Director, PAVE

Interested families need to apply and be placed on the Fresh Start Housing Scheme before they can proceed to apply for a 2-room Flexi flat in HDB’s sales exercises.

To apply for the scheme and to check the eligibility criteria, families may refer to the HDB InfoWEB.

Source: Channel NewsAsia – 1 Dec 2016

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