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Public Housing in Singapore: The Married Child Priority Scheme

Public Housing in Singapore: The HDB Married Child Priority Scheme

Last Updated on May 7, 2022 by Parentology

If you are married (or planning to get married) and would like to live with or close to your parents, you may be able to apply for a new flat under the Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS). Enacted in an effort to ensure that newly married have their parents’ support and that ageing parents likewise are closely-located to their children even if they have moved out.

The Married Child Priority Scheme allows applicants to put in for HDBs (resale and BTO) and apartments under the Design, Build, Sell Scheme (DBSS); unfortunately, it is not applicable for Executive Condominiums. Up to 30% of BTO/SBF units are set aside for first-time applicants, while for second-time applicants it is up to 15% of BTO units and 3% of SBF units. Additionally, flats located in prime locations will have adjusted allocations based on where they are built, so do look up the information on the Prime Location Public Housing (PLH) website if that is what you are aiming for.

Do note that DBSS developers will only make flat quotas known during initial project launches and have separate ways of administering the priority schemes, unlike with HDB apartments.

You are able to receive priority for up to two schemes as long as you meet the eligibility listed below.


Married Child Priority Scheme vs. Multi-Generation Priority Scheme

The Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) allows both parents and already-married children to get apartments in the same precinct and estate and specifically caters to purchases of two separate apartments. The Married Child Priority Scheme, on the other hand, can cater to the purchase for one or two, either for the parents or for the child to live in separate apartments, or just the purchase of one apartment to move nearer to the other. Additionally, the MCPS allows soon-to-wed children (fiancé and fiancées) to use the scheme, while the MGPS does not.

Alternatively, you can apply for the MCPS with your parents or married children being listed as occupiers as well – that is, both parents and married children will be living under one roof.



In terms of Married Child Priority Scheme eligibility, at least one of the parents (including widowed or divorced parents) must be a Singaporean Citizen or Permanent Resident. The child themselves should either be married or be widowed/divorced with children under their legal custody, and if they are the ones applying, should also be a citizen or a permanent resident of Singapore.

Finally, you must be applying for a flat in a building project where the nearest block is within 4 km from the other party’s residence. This is the firm Married Child Priority Scheme distance to qualify under the scheme.

To clarify, if more than one property is owned, the property that the parents or children are living in will be used for the proximity reference of 4km. Furthermore, the parents or married child who helped the applicant qualify under this scheme must continue to live within 4 km2 of the new apartment throughout the minimum occupancy period (MOP) – usually a period of 3 – 5 years.

The MOP starts from the moment you collect your keys – do be aware that in certain cases, if one of the parties has plans to upgrade or downgrade, they may be affected by this caveat. Speak to the other party about this scheme and ask if they are willing to commit to this MOP with you if you would like to move forward with it.

You can check for Married Child Priority Scheme eligibility on the HDB website here, and check for proximity references here.


How does it work?

If you are successful in your application to the MCPS, you are prioritised for a ballot number and thus allowed to select your unit ahead of others. It increases your chances of getting a ballot number, which has been known to be notoriously difficult to get in the current property market. Even if you fail to get a unit through MCPS, you can do it again via the Public Scheme as well.

Many ask about Married Child Priority Scheme penalties, but there are no obvious penalties that do not apply to other schemes as well – for instance, if you obtain a ballot but choose not to move forward with your apartment, you may have penalties for those as with all other schemes.

While the property you are applying for will be public housing, the other property does not need to be and can be either an HDB flat or a private residential property as long as they are listed as owners or registered occupiers of the property.



Distribution of quota:

Household Status

BTO Sales Launch SBF Sales Launch

Non-mature estate

Mature estate
2-room 3-room 4- / 5-room

2-room and bigger

First-timer family 5% 30% 30% 30%


Second-timer family

15% 15% 10% 3%


Source: Priority Schemes, HDB


As you can see, first-time applicants are provided priority through the MCPS and other schemes. After that, the quota allocations vary drastically depending on the types of HDBs – do look into the type that you are considering purchasing, and use the table above to understand what quotas are available for your selected choices.

Additionally, priority is given to those who will be living together with the parent or married child, as opposed to living close to each other. Priority is also given to parents who are moving from mature to non-mature estates to live closer to their children.

Do note that this distribution will not apply to flats located in prime areas; the information for the Prime Location Public Housing scheme can be found here instead, and follow a different quota model.


In summary

The Married Child Priority Scheme allows parent-child units to live nearby each other or together and is helpful in ensuring that they can continue providing each other mutual support. When used in conjunction with first-time privileges, they may increase the chances of new applicants getting a ballot for a BTO. It requires you to live close by or with your parents or child for a certain period of time (the entirety of the minimum occupancy period), and allows you to purchase just one flat (to move closer to the other party) or for both parents and children to purchase flats in the same estate together.

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