Guide To Applying For CPF Housing Grants For Families In Singapore

CPF Housing Grant for Family

You are doing better than expected this year even during a pandemic and you find yourself between crossroads in life. Maybe it is finally time to get your own place. Some space you can call your own would be nice, how about an HDB flat? You just knew how much they cost? That is not a measly price is it not?

Look, you are working, you are earning, and then what is stopping you from getting your own HDB flat?  The price? Well good thing there are HDB grants!

These grants are somewhat confusing and may even be difficult to understand especially if you are just skimming for and by yourself. Good thing we got you covered.

 

CPF Housing Grant

In retrospect, an HDB grant is in fact a CPF housing grant. Due to the expensive nature of HDB flats for some Singaporeans, the government can technically be tapped to pay for the house. 

Some may even call it “free money” which is wrong because you will have to return it to your CPF upon the sale of the flat. Funds used to get you your dream HDB flat are temporarily paid through your CPF Ordinary Account, significantly lowering the amount of home loan you will have to apply for and will also be returned to your CPF once you sell your flat.

These types of grants are specifically offered for families with lower to middle income to help them be able to afford HDB home purchases.

Here is an overview of the CPF grants for first time Singaporean buyers:

Type of HDB CPF Housing Grant Income Ceiling Grant Amount
BTO / RESALE EHG SGD 9,000 SGD 5,000 to SGD 80,000
RESALE Family Grant SGD 14,000 SGD 40,000 to SGD 50,000
RESALE PHG None SGD 20,000 to SGD 30,000
EC Family Grant SGD 16,000 SGD 10,000 to SGD 30,000

In order for you to maximize your CPF grant, you should preferably be:

  • Singaporean citizen.
  • Applying as a couple or family.
  • Having an income ceiling below SGD 9,000.
  • Is currently a first time HDB buyer, not a second timer.

If you indeed qualify for all the things listed above, then you might be able to apply for the following:

  • Enhanced Housing Grants (EHG) for HDB BTO and sale of balance flats: SGD 80,000.
  • EHG, Family Grant (FG) and Proximity Housing Grant or PHG can all be applied to an HDB resale which would amount to about: SGD 160,000.
  • FG for Executive Condominium (EC): SGD 30,000.

 

Type of CPF Housing Grants

So now that you have somewhat an understanding of the grants available, then it is time to introduce you to all the types of CPF Housing Grants.

There are three types of grants available namely:

  1. Enhanced CPF Housing Grant or EHG
  2. Family Grant
  3. Proximity Housing Grant or PHG

However, there are grants specifically for each type of HDB properties available for you and possess certain qualifications. For your convenience, we shall dissect each one of them.

 

1. Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) — for HDB BTO & resale

Who is it for: This grant is available for Singapore citizen couples or families that currently acquire a combined monthly household income of SGD 9,000 earnings every month of the previous year or the past 12 months. As this grant was created to support citizens from the lower to middle class in acquiring their own house

Grant amount: A grant amount of about SGD 5,000 to SGD 80,000 can be acquired, how much you get mainly depends on your income, inversely that is. The less money you earn, the more you are entitled to get. 

The money can then be used for any of the following:

  • Stamp duties
  • Legal fees
  • Housing loan applied for the purchase of property
  • Down payment for the property

HDB flat eligibility: The flats eligible for enhanced CPF housing grant are HDB build to order, HDB sale of balance, and HDB resale flats with remaining lease of at least 30 years.

What if you do not have any partner? Single still? Well don’t worry because this EHG singles grant is still available for you. If you are at least 35 years old. However, both grant amount and income requirement are reduced to half, but hey, you can still get about SGD 40,000 depending on your income.

Wait, what if you have a partner but he or she is a foreigner? According to the non-citizen spouse scheme, you can still apply for the grant, pretty much the same as the singles category but you can apply for it earlier as the scheme qualifies Singaporeans from the age of 21.

 

2. Family Grant or HDB Resale Grant — for HDB resale flats

This HDB resale grants is stackable with the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant or EHG, meaning, you can apply for both grants in buying a resale flat since they tend to be more expensive than BTO flats. 

Whos it for: A combined household income must be of SGD 14,000 is required for first time couples or family looking to buy a resale flat. However, if you are applying with other family members such as your parents, gross monthly household income must not exceed ceiling of SGD 21,000 is otherwise, required.

Grant amount: The amount will depend on your whole family’s citizenship and the size of the HDB flat you are trying to buy. If your partner or spouse is applying for citizenship, you will get SGD 10,000 less, BUT you can get it back once your application for citizenship pushes through or you bear a child. For a 2 room resale flat to a 4 room flat, the amount can reach up to a maximum grant of SGD 50,000, while 5 room and up will get you SGD 40,000.

HDB flat eligibility: The flats eligible for family grant are any resale flat with 2 rooms or bigger.

What if you do not have any partner? Single still? Well don’t worry because there is a Singles Grant available for singles who are looking to purchase their very own resale HDB flats. As with the enhanced CPF housing grant, singles will enjoy a lower income ceiling and grant at half the value as that of the family grant. It will amount to SGD 25,000 for 2 to 4 bedroom HDBs, while SGD 20,000 for anything with 5 rooms or bigger.

The singles grant also will be applied to those couples who are partnered with non-citizens, as long as your gross income per month does not reach above SGD 14,000.


3. Family Grant — for HDB executive condominium (EC)

Who is it for: Practically less than the amount you would get for a resale flat, first time buyers who opt to purchase an executive condominium may be able to qualify for half the housing grant. It is literally half of the family grant and second timers do not matter which one of you is a first-timer as long as there is one first time buyer in the couple or family, you can enjoy the half housing grant.

Grant amount: The grant amount will again depend on the citizenship of both parties, as always, the amount will depend on your income per month. The range would be from SGD 10,000 to a maximum grant of SGD 30,000. If your partner is currently a permanent resident or is applying for citizenship, then again, you will receive SGD 10,000 less but will acquire it later if you ever bear a child or your partner’s citizenship pushes through.

HDB flat eligibility: The flats that may be eligible for this grant are any type of executive condominium or EC purchased directly from the developer and not the non-mature estate.

This is not available for singles BUT you can go for a joint singles scheme application with another single who is also 35 years of age to be able to purchase an executive condominium. Besides, singles are not even allowed to buy an EC, so don’t bother.

 

4. Proximity Housing Grant (PHG) — for HDB resale flat

Who is it for: This housing scheme is meant for those who are looking to buy HDB resale flat well within the immediate vicinity of their parents or married children’s towns. Within 4km to be exact. Proximity housing grant, as the name suggest, is meant for those couples or family who want to live in the same towns next to their parents as a lot of perks and convenience come with living close to your parents. Especially if you have young kids and both working day jobs, who would best take care of your kids other than your parents, right? Free of charge, we hope. 

This grant is also available for those parents who want to move in close with their married children. Which is a huge advantage considering being physically close to family can bring you lots of conveniences both way. What’s better is that this grant is also stackable on top of the enhanced CPF housing grant and family grant. That would totally ease your financial capabilities linked to buying an HDB, repairs, maintenance, and other miscellaneous fees will be covered for sure!

Grant amount: The grant amount will be SGD 20,000 for living well within 4km radius of your parents or children or you can apply as an extended family which will grant you SGD 30,000 with no income ceiling required.

HDB flat eligibility: As this grant aims to get families closer together, this grant does not require your other family’s house to be an HDB, it can be a private property too. Units may be eligible for this grant are any 2 bed room or larger with a lease of at least 20 years. This is also a one-time grant so think hard about it.

Single folks can also enjoy this grant as singles can also apply for this housing scheme. The same with the other grants, applying for single means half the grant amount, but do not worry too much as this grant does not require an income ceiling.

 

More Information

Buying a house is not exactly an out of whim decision. It is and should be one of the biggest decisions you will face in life. Do not let it become too daunting though, as buying a house has been done a bazillion times already, there is ought to be an article online that would help you get the house with fewer mistakes and more comfort. As it should be.

First, you need to ask you, your partner, and/or your family the following questions:

1. Are we financially capable to buy an HDB flat or an Executive Condominium?

If your answer is yes, then go through with it, check out the grants available, consolidate your finances, and make sure you can really afford it. 

2. Will we be able to maintain the upkeep of the flat for years to come?

Being able to afford the flat or the condominium means being able to pay for the maintenance and other miscellaneous fees having a house comes with.

3. Are we going to purchase an HDB or an Executive Condominium?

Knowing which type of house you will purchase will get your leads on the right path, which grants to get, what home loans to apply for, which developer to buy from.

4. How much did we earn on average during the past 12 months?

Having a knowledge of your past income is a telltale sign of the capabilities of your financial responsibility. A house is a big ask from your wallet, besides, it will come in handy when applying for grants and loans.

5. How big should our flat be?

The size of your flat will matter not only for the application form but also for your future plans. Will it be a 5 room or bigger? A 2 room or larger? A 4 room resale flat? You want to buy a house once, not a couple of times until you get it right. It’s expensive.

6. If we are going to purchase an HDB, would it be a resale or a BTO?

If you have your mindset on HDBs, knowing which type of flat is already winning half the battle. The battle for the application, that is.

7. Are we going to stay somewhere near our parents? (Near as in exactly 4 kilometers)

If you are going to stay near your folks, perks are surely just around the corner. Assuming you are on good terms with them, of course.

Also, do not forget that you need to return the grant once you decide to sell the flat.

 

A man applying housing grant

How to Apply

If you are ready and have decided which grant to apply for, you will need to know the address of the HDB flat you are willing to buy and you will need to accomplish this form, depending on which grant you will apply for, available here: 

You will then need to book a flat booking appointment where you would be required to bring the following:

Employed Persons Applicant:

  • 12 months’ pay slip preceding the flat application.

OR

  • Letter from your employer certifying the salaries of which must contain the company stamp/letterhead and a certifying officer’s name, signature, and designation.
  • CPF Yearly Statement of Account for the current and previous year.
  • CPF statement showing contribution for the past 12 months prior to application.

Self-employed Persons Applicant:

  • Latest Notice of Assessment from IRAS

OR

  • Statement of Annual Accounts certified by an audit firm.
  • Valid Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Computer Information (Business Profile)

OR

  • Valid license of trade.

Part-time worker/ Commission-based person:

  • 12 months’ pay slips/ commission statements preceding the flat application.

OR

  • Letter from your employer certifying the salaries of which must contain the company stamp/letterhead and a certifying officer’s name, signature, and designation.

And (for commission-based person)

  • CPF Yearly Statement of Account for the current and previous year.
  • CPF statement showing contribution for the past 12 months prior to application.

Odd job worker:

  • Latest NOA from IRAS
  • Previous year’s NOA from IRAS

 

Bottom Line

Whichever grant you choose, know that these grants are here to ease your financial troubles rather than add to your burden. There is always a CPF housing grant for families available with no interest, unlike your credit card. 

Also, to attend to your financial needs in buying a property, a loan on top of your CPF housing grant would greatly increase your chances of avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Go check out Loan Advisor, they are a reputable loan comparison site that helps you find out the best loans available for your current necessities.

Just remember to pick the one that exactly fits the bill, including your budget to avoid unnecessary expenditures.

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