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HDB clearing applications backlog for two-room Flexi BTO flats

HDB clearing applications backlog for two-room Flexi BTO flats.

Noting the strong demand from singles for two-room public housing flats, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong is looking to ramp up supply in order to process these requests over the next two years.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, he revealed that application rates are still very high from singles who are not senior citizens.

“Because we have opened up to allow them to buy two-room flats in 2013, there is still a backlog to clear ... Today, the application rate for this group is 6.6 ... It means you have to try several times before you can be successful in getting (a flat),” he said.

Mr Wong was answering a question from Ms Lee Bee Wah, Member of Parliament for Nee Soon, who had asked what could be done for singles who are seniors, and who had tried applying for two-room flats several times but were not successful.

Mr Wong explained that, on the whole, the situation for this group was improving, with the success rate for applications being “not too bad”.

Last year, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) received an average of 2.7 applications from families, seniors and singles for every two-room Flexi Built-To-Order (BTO) flat it put out.

In response, it has increased the supply of such flats in non-mature estates from 320 units in 2012 to an average of 4,000 units a year between 2014 and 2016, Mr Wong said.

He added that 40 per cent of such two-room flats are set aside for older applicants, including singles aged 55 and above. The remaining flat supply is divided equally between families and younger singles.

Any flats not taken up by families and older singles would be offered to younger singles.

Mr Wong also gave an update on incidents of unauthorised subletting in HDB flats, in response to a separate question by Ang Mo Kio MP Gan Thiam Poh.

In the last three years, enforcement action was taken in 70 cases against flat owners for unauthorised subletting and/or overcrowding. HDB conducts checks based on feedback from the public, on top of its own random checks, Mr Wong said.

Adapted from: TODAY, 4 April 2017