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Public Housing in Singapore: Deferments, Downpayments, and Other Schemes

Public Housing in Singapore: Deferments, Downpayments, and Other Schemes

Last Updated on May 7, 2022 by Parentology


On top of the various schemes available that increase your chances during the ballot for a queue number as well as the grant and loans options available to you should you choose to move forward with an apartment.

From the Fiancé-Fiancée Scheme and Multi-Generation Priority Scheme to the Enhanced Housing Grant and Family Grant, as well as the privileges afforded to various populations – first-timer privileges, higher allocations and grant amounts for lower-income families and applicants – the Housing and Development Board has provided a wide host of options for Singaporeans to be able to afford their own homes all before taking into account any private loans.

In this article, we will discuss some additional non-grant policies put in place by HDB to help applicants during the process of purchasing a home – primarily, deferments of income assessments, staggered downpayments for the house, and the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme.

Deferment of Income Assessment for Housing Grants and Loan

The income assessment is a common part of evaluating applicants for grants and loans, and usually involves the provision of 12 months (one year’s) worth of payslips from the applicant’s employer(s) as well as proof of employment at the time of application. For full-time students or fresh graduates, or those who are still carrying out their full-time National Service duties or have only recently left them, this option allows them to apply for public housing and move forward with it until a time closer to when they can collect their keys for their house.At that point, the income assessment will be enacted for loans and grants, and be put into place. During this stage, applicants (if they are trying to get grants and loans) should have those 12 months of payslips and proof of employment ready. This is best executed with new flats such as BTOs and SBFs, as there are usually waiting periods between the application and receipt of keys to the applicant’s new home, and thus more time to pull together the necessary documents.


Staggered Downpayment Scheme

The HDB Staggered Downpayment Scheme allows you to make the downpayment for your new home in two instalments rather than just one.

For first-timer couples to qualify, at least one applicant must be 30 years old or younger during the application. They can then pay the 10% downpayment as follows: half when applicants sign the Agreement for Lease (around 4 – 6 months after booking a flat), and half upon receiving possession of the new flat, which is usually around 2 – 4 years afterwards. This works for both the Fiancé-Fiancée Scheme as well as for married couples as long as the flat is 5 rooms or smaller and both applicants are first-time applicants.

Additionally, flat owners who are booking incomplete 3-room or smaller flats in non-mature estates also qualify for the staggered downpayment scheme eligibility as long as they have not sold their existing flat at the point of application of their new flat.

The Staggered Downpayment Scheme unfortunately only works for new flats, and only works for BTO downpayments. Under the Staggered Downpayment Scheme, those payments will look more like this:

Housing Loan from HDB / NOt taking any loan Housing Loan from Financial Institution (FI)
Loan-To-Value (LTV) Limit of 75% Loan-To-Value (LTV) Limit of 55%
Downpayment at the signing of Agreement for Lease 5% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash – 5% minimum cash payment


– Remaining 5% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash


10% minimum cash payment
Payment during the collection of keys For flat applications received before 16 Dec 2021:


– 5% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash


For flat applications received on or after 16 Dec 2021:


– 10% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash


15% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash 35% using CPF Ordinary Account savings or cash

Source: HDB Schemes and Grants, Staggered Downpayment Scheme


How to apply for the Staggered Downpayment Schemes is quite simple: once you have successfully balloted and booked a flat, you will begin to look at grants and loans. Should you choose to take up a grant or loan from the Housing and Development Board, you will be submitting the HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter (as well as any necessary supporting documents). If you will be taking a private loan, you do not submit for an HLE but instead request an Approval in Principle (AIP) document for the bank that is providing you with the loan. Once your credit eligibility has been approved, you can then be approved for the Staggered Downpayment Scheme.

Once approved for the scheme, you will make the first half of your downpayment in that 4-6 months after signing the Agreement of Lease.


HDB Deferred Downpayment Scheme

This scheme only applies to those who are 55 years and older and allows applicants to defer downpayments entirely until the point of key collection if you are right-sizing – essentially if you have booked a 2-room Flexi flat or a 3-room incomplete flat in either a mature or non-mature estate. You also should not have sold your existing flat at the point of the new application, but as long as you fulfil these criteria you can defer your entire downpayment as noted.


Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme

The Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS) is part of the Marriage & Parenthood Package provided by the government to encourage more Singaporeans to marry and have children. It helps families find temporary housing while they wait for their new flats to be completed, allowing those who are eligible to rent a flat under this scheme if they have booked an incomplete flat in one of the HDB sales exercises.

To qualify, applicants should be either married couples (both first-timers or one first-timer and one second-timer), engaged couples (both first-timers or one first-timer and one second-timer), or a divorced/widowed parent with children. At least one applicant must be a Singaporean Citizen, and for couples, the other must be either a citizen or permanent resident. All applicants and potential occupants should also not own any existing HDB flats, and your household’s total monthly income should be less than $7,000 based on the income listed in your purchase application.

The PPHS HDB application process is very straightforward. PPHS application periods are once every two months during even months (February, April, June, August, October, December) from the 1st to the 14th of the month. A $10 PPHS application rate fee is required for each application and should be made within three days of the application. Once the outcome has been released (it will take around a month or so), you will be allotted a ballot number which will help decide your queue position – married couples with children under 18 will have priority during this as well.

Once you have your queue number, you can then move forward with selecting a flat. After that will come the tenancy agreement, during which you will also need to pay the first month’s rent, a month for a rental deposit, and the stamp duty fees. The maximum rental term is 3 years but can be renewed annually depending on the state of completion of your apartment.

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