Catch up, Tharman tells Gerald Giam


1) DEPUTY Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday hit back at Workers’ Party member Gerald Giam’s comments about Singaporeans being unable to afford a flat, telling him to ‘catch up’ with policies already introduced.2) The Government gives an Additional Housing Grant (AHG) of up to $40,000 to allow low-income Singapore families to buy Housing Board (HDB) flats. It introduced a further Special Housing Grant (SHG) last year of up to $20,000.

3) Mr Tharman also said yesterday that two recently announced schemes to help the elderly unlock the value in their flats could be tweaked.

4) The Silver Housing Bonus gives owners $20,000 to downgrade to a smaller unit, while those on the Enhanced Lease Buyback Scheme sell the tail end of their lease to the HDB in return for $15,000 upfront and monthly payments for life. But MPs including Dr Lily Neo (Tanjong Pagar GRC) have called for less money to be locked up in this savings account to help the elderly take advantage of the schemes.

5) Mr Tharman said: ‘That’s a valid point because for those who are, let’s say, in their mid-70s, if they want to take advantage of our scheme, it may not make sense for them to top up all the way to the prevailing minimum sum for the purpose of CPF Life.

6) ‘So it’s something which we are studying and we will complete our review on this within a couple of months.’

Excerpt From:
Catch up, Tharman tells Gerald Giam
Published on Mar 2, 2012 The Straits Times, By Daryl Chin

Link: Table from HDB

The Minister for National Development announced details of the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) on 3 March 2011. The SHG will given to first-timer families earning up to $2,250 a month to buy a smaller flat from HDB that is within their means.
The new SHG is over and above the regular housing subsidies and the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG). Together with the other housing subsidies, it will enable more low-income families to own their first flats which they can sustain over the long-term.

Use of Grant

The SHG can only be used as capital payment towards the purchase of the new flat or to reduce the mortgage loan. You can use the grant to make the initial payment towards the purchase. The balance, if any, must be used to reduce the mortgage loan before a housing loan from HDB is granted.

Example: How SHG can help you to buy your first flat from HDB
Mr A, aged 34, has been working continuously for the past one year. His wife is not working. The family is currently living in a rental flat from HDB.
•Average monthly household income:$1,000
•Savings in CPF Ordinary Account:$5,000*
•Monthly contribution to CPF Ordinary Account:$ 217
•Amount of AHG eligible for:$40,000
•Amount of SHG eligible for:$20,000
•Buying a standard 2-room flat from HDB:$100,000

* the chart is taken from    Fabrications About The PAP    :

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