News: HDB to pilot new housing model to allow Singles to apply for HDB rental flats without finding a flatmate

Mar 5, 2021

The new housing model will be piloted by HDB later this year to allow singles to apply for public rental flats without having to find a flatmate first. 

Minister of State for National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said a new housing model will be piloted by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) later this year that will allow singles to apply for public rental flats without having to find a flatmate first, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).

The new pilot will serve as an “alternative model” to the existing Joint Singles Scheme (JSS) which sees two or more singles jointly apply for a public rental flat.

With most single tenants prepared to share a unit with a flatmate, Associate Professor Faishal noted that this arrangement “enables companionship and mutual support”, which he believes is particularly important for older tenants.

“It also allows us to help as many who need a public rental flat as possible, within our limited resources,” he said as quoted by CNA.

The current scheme encourages single tenants to apply with someone they know, such as a friend or relative, or they can request HDB to find them a flatmate.

HDB, however, noted that while a majority of JSS tenants are able to find a flatmate and amicably live together, there are some who are not able to do so.

The alternative model, which will be piloted later in the year, give singles another option.

Assoc Prof Faishal shared that a few floors within a few rental blocks will be set aside by HDB, with social service agencies appointed to manage the flats as well as the flat-sharing arrangements.

Examples of social service agencies include Thye Hua Kwan Moral Society or New Hope Community Services.

“The social service agencies will have better expertise to match singles of similar profiles, and to mediate disagreements that may arise,” he said.

“If necessary, they can also arrange for individuals to move to another flat.”

Under this new model, rents will be largely similar to those in the JSS, with tenants subject to similar eligibility conditions.

More details on the new model will be shared by HDB once ready, said Assoc Prof Faishal.

Meanwhile, he revealed that large families with children will be offered three-room rental flats on a case-by-case basis.

“At the moment, we have a very limited supply of such flats, so we will only be able to offer the flats to a small number of families, based on the families’ circumstances,” explained Assoc Prof Faishal.

“At the same time, all families with children living in public rental flats will receive holistic support under Community Link (ComLink) to enable them to achieve stability, self-reliance, and social mobility,” he added.

Assoc Prof Faishal also shared plans for a second pilot of the Community Care Apartments, a new type of housing with senior-friendly features and a care subscription package.

Launched for sale last month, the Community Care Apartments received very positive response, with the 169 units attracting 706 applicants.

“Given the positive feedback and strong interest, we are studying plans for a second pilot site. We will share more details when ready,” he said.

“We continue to welcome feedback from seniors, as well as their caregivers and family members,” he added.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg

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