Singapore Public Housing Apartments in Punggol District, Singapore. (Image by happycreator / Shutterstock.com)

HDB clarifies CPF Housing Grants are disbursed into account holder’s own CPF account after flat is sold; Netizens ask HDB not to call it “grants” as it is not a free loan

On 15 September (Sunday), the Housing and Development Board (HDB) took to its Facebook to inform the public that CPF Housing Grants are actually returned to the account holder’s own CPF Ordinary Account and not to the Government, after the flat is sold.

This fund can then be used by the citizen to purchase their next house, or use it for retirement and healthcare needs.

“The CPF Housing Grants used during your flat purchase are not returned to the Government, when you sell your flat,” HDB stated.

It added, “Instead, all CPF monies used to purchase the flat – including the CPF Housing Grants – will be returned to your CPF Account, so you can use it for your next housing purchase, or retirement and healthcare needs.”

In fact, the fund that is disbursed back into citizen’s CPF Account come with the accrued interest.

According to HDB’s website, it stated that the final sale proceeds from selling a flat, is the purchase price of the flat, minus the following components:

  • Outstanding mortgage loan
  • Return of CPF funds used with accrued interest
  • Earlier-received deposit (up to S$5,000; from option fee and deposit)
  • Any other amounts payable, e.g. resale levy, upgrading costs, etc.

As such, the Board stated that an owner needs to settle outstanding payments like balance mortgage loan, CPF monies used, resale levy, upgrading costs as well as upgrading levy before selling their flat.

Upon reading this clarification, some netizens pointed out that HDB should not called them as grants as it is not free money, given that there’s accrued interest one needs to pay back and levy for selling of the property. Lee Chun Keat David said that the “grants are there to help you get a roof over your head, it is not intended for you to profit from it through buying and selling”.

Others said that the levy imposed when an owner wants to sell the flat is unfair. Although the levy is there to discourage people to buy another subsidised flat, but most owners end up paying more in resale levy compared to how much fund is given in their original grant in the first place.

Yusri Yusoff said that it’s discouraging for people like him to start a family. This is because the first flat that he bought was a 4-room resale flat from an open market, and not a subsidised BTO flat. As such, he is now considered as a second time buyer, even though he did not interfere other first-time buyers chance of getting a flat.