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5 HDB schemes that Singaporeans might be clueless about

One of them may benefit buyers of executive condominiums.

You’re probably familiar with the HDB grants and schemes that you’re eligible for when it comes to a straightforward BTO or resale situation. But have you heard about the lesser-known schemes such as the Staggered Downpayment Scheme?

Find out about the five important HDB schemes that the average Singaporean may not be aware of.  


(Photo: Pixabay)

With this scheme, you can pay your downpayment in two separate instalments: Half the amount when you sign the Agreement for Lease, and the other half when you get your keys. 

Eligibility for the scheme:

  • Married (or engaged) and be applying for a two-, three-, four-, or five-room BTO flat.
  • First-time applicant, or a couple comprising a first-timer and second-timer.
  • Submit the flat application on or before the younger applicant’s 30th birthday.

In addition, flat owners who right-size to two-room or three-room flats in non-mature estates can qualify for the scheme as well.

READ: Viewing property? 5 things to inspect to save yourself time and a headache


Make sure you tell your parents and grandparents about this one. This scheme helps elderly citizens who are right-sizing their flat to defer their downpayment until they collect their keys. This way, elderly flat owners need not worry about cash flow problems, such as having their funds tied up in their existing flat.

Eligibility for the scheme:

All flat buyers aged 55 years old and above, who have booked a two-room Flexi or three-room uncompleted flat, and have not sold their existing flat at the point of applying for a new flat, are eligible. This scheme is automatically extended to buyers, so they don't have to apply for it.


(Photo: Pixabay)

HDB’s Fresh Start Housing Scheme targets lower-income households, who are currently living in public rental flats, and helps them own a two-room Flexi flat. These households will be assisted in the following ways:

Short-lease flat

  • You can buy a short-lease two-room Flex flat in BTO or SBF sales exercises, which are more affordable than flats with the standard 99-year lease.
  • The lease options range from 45 years to 65 years, but it must cover all owners and spouse-occupiers minimally till they are 95 years old.
  • There will be a 20-year Minimum Occupation Period.

HDB concessionary loan

  • You can take up an HDB Concessionary Loan, subject to credit assessment.

Cap on resale levy

  • The levy is capped at S$30,000.
  • Will be adjusted downwards based on the length of the lease chosen. 


  • Fresh Start Housing Grant of S$35,000 for a 60- or 65-year lease. It will be adjusted downwards for flats with shorter leases.
  • A S$20,000 lump sum will be disbursed into the eligible applicants’ CPF Ordinary Account just before key collection.
  • The remaining grant of up to S$15,000 may be disbursed into the eligible applicants’ CPF Ordinary Accounts equally over five years, after key collection.

Priority allocation

  • Priority allocation given in HDB sales exercises of up to 10 per cent of two-room Flex units under the Tenants’ Priority Scheme.

Eligibility for the scheme:

The scheme is extended to second-timer families (households that have previously taken up a housing subsidy) with young children. These families must be currently living in public rental flats, among other criteria.

READ: The overrated, impractical interior design trends that Singaporeans love


It’s a common misconception that there aren’t any grants applicable for ECs. If you’re in the market for one, you might be eligible for the Family Grant and Half-Housing Grant. The former pays out up to S$30,000, and the latter, a maximum of S$15,000.

Eligibility for the scheme:

Both applicants must be first-time applicants. If both parties are Singapore Citizens (SCs), the maximum household income is capped at S$12,000. If one applicant is a permanent resident, the maximum income is capped at S$11,000.

If one applicant is a first-time applicant, and the other is a second-timer, the couple may apply for the Half-Housing Grant. Only couples with a household income of S$12,000 and below are eligible.  


(Photo: Pixabay)

This scheme is pretty similar to the Deferred Downpayment Scheme, but it’s applicable to homeowners of all ages. Under this scheme, you can apply for a temporary loan to complete your new flat purchase, while the sale of your existing flat is still underway.

Because your temporary loan counts as a mortgage of the new flat, it will be subsequently redeemed using the proceeds from the sale of your existing flat. This way, you can use the sale proceeds from your existing flat to pay for your new flat, without taking a long-term mortgage loan.

Eligibility for the scheme:

  • Booked a new flat, with the keys being ready for collection.
  • Submitted an application to sell their existing flat.

One caveat is, you must have sufficient CPF or cash proceeds from the sale of your existing flat to fully redeem the temporary loan.

This article first appeared on

Source: CNA/bk