The Housing & Development Board (HDB) received an average of 2.7 applications for every two-room Flexi Build-To-Order (BTO) flat offered in 2016, said Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Monday (Apr 3).
The applications came from a mix of families, elderly and singles, said Mr Wong who was responding to a parliamentary question by Dr Lee Bee Wah, Member of Parliament (MP) for Nee Soon GRC.
According to Mr Wong, 40 per cent of two-room Flexi flats are set aside for elderly applicants, including singles aged 55 and above. The remaining flat supply is divided equally between non-elderly singles and families.
Meanwhile, any balance of flats not taken up by elderly or families will be offered to singles, he said.
Since July 2013, singles are allowed to buy new two-room flats in non-mature estates. To address the strong demand, the HDB has increased flat supply in non-mature estates from 320 units in 2012 to an average of 4,000 units per year between 2014 and 2016.
While “the situation for elderly singles is getting better”, Mr Wong noted that the application rate from non-elderly singles remain “very high” at 6.6 in 2016.
“There is still a backlog to clear and we are still clearing the backlog,” he said in response to a supplementary question from Dr Lee. “At an application rate of (nearly) 7, it means you have to try several times before you are successful in getting a two-room flat.”
He added: “The way to resolve this is to try to ramp up the supply of two-room flats which we are doing. We hope to clear the backlog over the next two years.”
Source : Channel NewsAsia – 3 Apr 2017