DISCRETION FOR HDB HOUSING LOAN APPLICANTS WHO EXCEED ELIGIBLE INCOME CEILINGS BY SMALL MARGINS

Murali Pillai
2 min readFeb 7, 2024

At MPS, I came across a case of a resident, a divorced mother with several young children, being rejected a HDB housing loan because she exceeded the $7,000 income ceiling by a few hundred dollars. I felt that there is scope for HDB to exercise discretion in particular cases. I therefore asked the Minister for National Development if HDB might consider using discretion to allow applicants who slightly exceed the income ceilings to apply for HDB housing loans. Additionally, I was keen to understand the factors HDB would take into account when making such discretionary decisions. My parliamentary question and Minister Desmond Lee’s response are set out below.

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Mr Murali Pillai asked the Minister for National Development (a) whether HDB will consider exercising discretion in enabling applicants whose monthly income exceed the income ceilings applicable to them by a small margin to apply for HDB housing loans; and (b) if so, what factors will HDB consider in exercising such discretion in favour of applicants.

Mr Desmond Lee: To prioritise HDB housing loans for households who need them more, applicants have to meet the prevailing income ceiling to qualify. Currently, the monthly income ceiling for families is $14,000, which covers about eight in 10 Singaporean households. The income ceilings are $21,000 for extended families and $7,000 for singles purchasing flats under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme.

On a case-by-case basis, HDB may exercise flexibility to grant the HDB housing loan to applicants whose monthly income exceeds the applicable income ceiling. In assessing appeals, HDB considers applicants’ individual circumstances, including whether they have other viable financing options. Those who require assistance can approach HDB.

Those who are not eligible for an HDB housing loan may approach financial institutions regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore for housing loan and financing options.

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Murali Pillai

Member of Parliament, Bukit Batok SMC, Advisor to Bukit Batok SMC GROs.