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MND: Fresh Start Housing Scheme for 2nd timer now open for applications

The Fresh Start Housing Scheme (FSHS) is open for applications from 1 Dec 2016, the Ministry of National Development (MND) announced in its press release on Thursday (1 Dec).

Minister for National Development and 2nd Minister for Finance, Lawrence Wong, had announced the details of the FSHS at the 2016 Committee of Supply debate.

The scheme takes a targeted approach to help second-timer public rental families with young children to own a 2-room Flexi flat so that they can start afresh in a new home.

Second-timer refers to families who have previously enjoyed one housing subsidy. For a second timer applicant who has a spouse or spouse to be who are a first timer, as a couple they can enjoy a first timer privileges and priority.

Under the scheme, families who qualify could buy a new 2-room Flexi flat. The flats will come with shorter leases, ranging from 45 to 65 years, to keep the price affordable, and also have longer Minimum Occupation Period of 20 years, to ensure a stable home for the children.

Mr Wong explained, “We are starting with a more targeted approach. So the number of Fresh Start families may not be large to begin with.”

“But we will keep the scheme open, and families who are keen but do not qualify on their first attempt can apply again when they are more ready. Meanwhile, I encourage them to persevere toward home ownership and seek help to improve their situation,” he added.

The scheme integrates financial assistance, like the new Fresh Start Housing Grant, with personal responsibility and social support. The eligibility criteria and scheme features are as follows:

Source: the Ministry of National Develoment
Source: the Ministry of National Develoment

Application Process 

MND informed that interested families need to apply and be emplaced on the FSHS before they can proceed to apply.

  • Application for Scheme : Interested families may submit an online application through the HDB InfoWEB using the registered tenants’ Singpass.
  • Application for Flat : Families on the Fresh Start scheme may apply for a flat in any of HDB’s Build-To-Order (BTO) or Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercises within 1 year of being emplaced on the scheme. They may apply during the flat application period via the HDB InfoWEB.

The approximate timeline, from scheme application to key collection is shown below.

Source: the Ministry of National Develoment
Source: the Ministry of National Develoment

Mr Lawrence Wong has also appointed a Fresh Start Advisory Committee, chaired by Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to support outreach effort and provide guidance on implementation of the scheme.