Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for National Development given the long lead times between application and receipt of HDB BTO flats, whether HDB has considered allowing existing HDB flat owners whose HDB flats are still within the Minimum Occupation Period to apply for a new BTO flat so as to facilitate advance planning.
Mr Desmond Lee: All HDB flat owners of new and resale flats need to fulfil a minimum occupation period (MOP). The MOP reinforces the principle that HDB flats are, primarily, meant for owner-occupation and ensures that flat buyers purchase an HDB flat with the intention of living in it. The MOP also deters speculative purchases, thereby helping to keep HDB flats affordable.
Flat owners are not allowed to apply for a new flat from HDB during the MOP. This is to allow HDB to better prioritise our limited supply of new flats for buyers who do not yet own an HDB flat; it also helps manage the demand from those who do not have urgent housing needs.
Flat owners who need to move out urgently after meeting the MOP and are unable to wait for BTO flats may consider buying a resale flat on the open market. Buyers can choose from a wide range of resale flats for different budgets and needs, and these flats are, generally, ready for immediate occupation. Eligible buyers can also consider applying for flats from HDB through the Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) or open booking of flats, where some flats are near completion or completed, if they have urgent housing needs and do not have specific requirements as to the flat location.
That said, we recognise that some flat owners may have extenuating circumstances that require them to apply for another flat before the end of the MOP. HDB will consider such appeals on a case-by-case basis.
Ministry of National Development
5 July 2022