In Singapore, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) recognizes the importance of providing support for seniors in their retirement years to make their lives more comfortable. Living in an ideal environment for daily living is one such way to achieve this, and this is where the HDB Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) comes into play.
The HDB scheme aims to ensure that elderly Singaporeans have access to affordable and comfortable housing options that cater to their unique needs. So, in this article, we will explore the various aspects of the HDB Senior Priority Scheme and how it benefits our seniors.
What are HDB Priority Schemes in Singapore?
HDB Priority Schemes in Singapore are initiatives implemented by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to provide extra support and benefits to specific groups of people who require assistance in securing housing. These schemes are tailored to cater to the different needs and circumstances of individuals or families, ensuring that they’re given priority in the allocation of HDB flats.
Importance of HDB Priority Schemes
The HDB Priority Schemes in Singapore are important as they aim to provide certain benefits and preferences to specific groups of applicants when purchasing HDB flats. These schemes help prioritize certain segments of the population, such as families with children, elderly residents, and married children wanting to live near their parents.
By offering additional ballot chances and larger allocations of flats, the schemes increase the chances of these priority groups securing their desired housing. This ensures that the housing needs of different segments of the population are met, promoting communal living, supporting families, and addressing the specific needs of different demographics.
Types of HDB Priority Schemes
Several types of HDB Priority Schemes are available in Singapore, each targeting a specific group of individuals or families. These schemes include the following:
- Married Child Priority Scheme: The Married Child Priority Scheme is a housing scheme in Singapore that allows married applicants to include their parents or married child(ren) in their flat application, prioritizing their eligibility to purchase a flat and live together as a family unit.
- Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS): The Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) is a program in Singapore that helps first-time married couples with children to have an easier process of acquiring a flat.
- Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS): The Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) enables older parents and their married children in Singapore to apply for separate flats in the same housing estate, allowing them to live close to each other.
- Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS): The Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) is a program that facilitates mutual care and support between married children and their parents by helping them live together or near each other.
- Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS): The Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS) is a government initiative in Singapore that aims to provide priority flat allocations to families with three or more children who are looking to purchase a larger HDB flat, encouraging the formation of larger families.
- Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (Divorced/Widowed Parents) (ASSIST): The Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (Divorced/Widowed Parents) (ASSIST) is a program in Singapore that provides housing priority to divorced or widowed parents with children, who would not normally qualify for housing assistance due to their present status.
- Tenants’ Priority Scheme (TPS): The Tenants’ Priority Scheme (TPS) is a priority scheme that offers HDB rental flat tenants the opportunity to purchase their own homes by allocating 10% of 2-room Flexi and 3-room flats for sale to eligible tenants.
- Senior Priority Scheme (SPS): The Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) is a priority scheme that improves the chances of seniors in the computer ballot for a new HDB flat, specifically for those applying for a 2-room Flexi flat in the same town or estate, or within a certain distance of their existing flat or private property.
While each scheme focuses on different needs, they all aim to provide housing support and priority allocation to those requiring it. You may also opt to click here to learn more about the other financial schemes offered by the government.
Senior Priority Scheme: Helping Seniors Live Comfortably
The Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) is specifically designed to assist elderly Singaporeans in securing housing options that cater to their needs. Under the SPS, seniors are given priority in allocating rental flats near their existing flat or their married child’s home. This scheme aims to enhance the quality of life for seniors by ensuring they have access to housing that is suitable and convenient.
Eligibility Criteria for SPS
To qualify for the Senior Priority Scheme, seniors must meet the following criteria under the 2-Room Flexi Scheme:
- Applicants must be at least 55 years old when they apply for SPS.
- The lease of the flat must be able to last the senior, their spouse, and all buyers until the age of 95 and above.
- The average gross monthly household income should not exceed $12,000.
Other eligibility conditions for SPS further depend on the applicant’s situation, and may differ depending on if they’re applying for “Near Existing Flat” or “Near Parents/Married Child”. Such differences are as follows:
Near Existing Flat
Under the SPS (Near Existing Flat), the new 2-room Flexi flat must be situated within a 2 km distance from the applicant’s current flat or privately owned property. However, this was revised, such that if you’re applying for a 2-room Flexi flat after May 2018, it should be within a 4 km radius of your current property to be eligible for purchase.
Near Parents/Married Child
The Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) has certain eligibility criteria for married applicants living near or with their parents/married child. Here are the key points:
- Marital Status: The applicant must be married.
- Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident: At least one parent or married child must be a Singapore citizen (SC) or Singapore Permanent Resident (SPR). The parent or married child can also be widowed or divorced.
- Proximity Requirement: There are two options available:
- Buying a 2-room Flexi flat within 4 km of an HDB flat or private residence that the parent/married child resides in.
- Buying a 2-room Flexi flat to live with the parent/married child, and their names must be included in the flat application.
- Proximity Reference: If the parent or married child owns multiple properties, the one they are residing in will be used for the proximity reference. If they don’t own the property they are residing in, it must be owner-occupied by immediate family members.
- Minimum Occupation Period (MOP): The parent/married child who helped the applicant qualify for SPS must continue to live within 4 km of the new flat throughout the 5-year MOP.
- Age Requirement: At least 20% (or half of the 40% of 2-room Flexi flats) are allocated to eligible applicants who are at least 55 years old at the time of application.
- Lease Duration: The lease must last for the applicant, their spouse, and all buyers until the age of 95 and above.
Benefits of SPS for the Elderly
The Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) offers a range of benefits to elderly Singaporeans, including the following:
Better Chances of Getting a New HDB Flat
The SPS improves the chances of seniors in the computer ballot for a new HDB flat. This means that seniors who qualify for the scheme have a higher probability of successfully obtaining a 2-room Flexi flat in the same town or estate or within two kilometres of their existing flat or private property.
The SPS allows seniors to age in place in a familiar environment. It enables them to buy a 2-room Flexi flat, which can provide them with the comfort and security they need as they grow older. This option is especially beneficial for seniors who wish to continue living in their current neighbourhood or near their parents or married children.
To be eligible for the SPS, seniors must fulfil the 2 Room Flexi Scheme criteria, including being at least 55 years old, having a lease that can last until the age of 95 and above, and not exceeding an average gross monthly household income of $12,000. These criteria ensure that the scheme benefits those who truly need it.
Improved Quality of Life
By providing seniors with a higher chance of obtaining a new HDB flat and the option to age in place, the SPS contributes to an improved quality of life for the elderly. It allows them to have a secure and comfortable living arrangement, promoting overall well-being and happiness in their later years.
Comparing the Lease Options under SPS
Under the Senior Priority Scheme (SPS), eligible applicants have the option to choose between a studio apartment and a 2-room flexi flat. Here’s a comparison of the two lease options for you to understand them better:
- Studio Apartment: The studio apartment lease option is specifically tailored to meet the needs of seniors who prefer a smaller living space and a more manageable housing arrangement. They’re designed specifically for seniors, with elderly-friendly features like grab bars and non-slip tiles, and come with a 30-year lease.
- 2-Room Flexi Flat: 2-room Flexi flats offer seniors greater flexibility with lease options ranging from 15 to 45 years (in 5-year increments), as long as the lease duration can last until the applicant reaches at least 95 years old.
At Retire Genie, we offer cost-effective and high-quality housing options for elderly Singaporeans and provide them with the necessary assistance to help them with their daily tasks. You may choose from our wide range of services, which include Singapore elderly apartments and senior group homes Singapore.
How to Apply for SPS
Applying for the Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) is a straightforward process. To apply for SPS, you need to follow these steps:
- Check eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for the SPS.
- Gather required documents: Organize and gather all the documents needed for your application. This may include identification documents, proof of relationship with the parent/married child, and any other supporting documents as specified by the Housing & Development Board (HDB).
- Submit application: Submit your application for the SPS. You can do this through the HDB website or at any HDB Branch Office. Ensure that the information you provide in your application form is both accurate and comprehensive.
- Await balloting: After submitting your application, the balloting process will take place. The SPS helps improve the balloting chances of elderly residents, increasing the likelihood of being selected for a 2-room Flexi flat in your preferred location.
- Receive outcome: Once the balloting is completed, you will receive the outcome of your application. If you are successful, you will be notified and given instructions on the next steps to proceed with the purchase of the 2-room Flexi flat.
The HDB Senior Priority Scheme (SPS) is a good initiative that addresses the unique housing needs of elderly Singaporeans. By providing priority flat allocation and financial assistance, the SPS ensures seniors access to affordable and convenient housing options. As we strive to build an inclusive and caring society, it is important to continue supporting our seniors and ensuring that they can live comfortably and enjoy their golden years.