APPLICANTS WHO FAIL TO OBTAIN HDB FLATS UNDER PARENTHOOD PROVISIONAL HOUSING SCHEME FOLLOWING REVISION IN ELIGIBILITY CONDITIONS
From MPS cases, I noted that quite a large number of Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (“PPHS”) applicants were not able to get interim rental flat units even though they satisfied the stricter salary conditions imposed from August 2021. I therefore asked the Minister for National Development to explain the situation. In his reply, he highlighted that there is a crunch attributable to the pandemic that prevents HDB from offering every applicant with a unit. Currently, 30% of the applicants are offered the units. Out of the applicants offered units, slightly more than 40% reject the units! This leads to delay as the units have to be reoffered to other applicants in the waiting queue. My PQ and the Minister’s answer may be accessed below.
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Mr Murali Pillai asked the Minister for National Development (a) since refining the eligibility conditions for the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) in August 2021, how many applicants who satisfy the eligibility conditions have been unable to obtain PPHS flats; and (b) given the current tight supply of PPHS flats following the longer than usual waiting time for completion of HDB BTO flats owing to the COVID-19 pandemic, whether HDB can consider providing these applicants with flats from the public rental market or grants to enable them to rent flats directly.
Mr Desmond Lee: Since August 2021, about 1,930 eligible families have applied for the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS). About 580 of them were invited to select a PPHS flat, of whom about 330 selected and were allocated a flat, and 250 did not select a flat when invited to do so, which suggests that they have other options. The remaining 1,350 applicants were unsuccessful in the ballot.
The demand for PPHS flats has increased significantly since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we are on track to increase the PPHS supply from 800 in 2021 to 1,800 in 2023, the supply remains limited, and we will not be able to offer a PPHS flat to every applicant. We encourage families awaiting the completion of their new flats to seek other interim housing arrangements where possible, such as staying with their family or renting on the open market.
Not all flat buyers require assistance with interim housing, as many are able to find alternative housing arrangements on their own. Providing direct subsidies or grants for renting flats from the open market will likely induce demand and may drive up market rentals, which would be counter-productive as it makes renting more expensive. As such, we currently have no plans to provide PPHS flats from the open market or grants for open market rental.
Low-income households with no other temporary housing options can approach HDB for assistance, and HDB may offer them Interim Rental Housing on a case-by-case basis.