Housing Development Board (HDB) has issued a statement in response to a recent viral complaint letter, which claims that a couple had abused a priority scheme for married couples to jump the queue to get their housing board flat.

The complaint circulated on A.S.S. featured a link to a 17th August blog post written by one Ms Lee, which has since been taken down. In the post, Ms Lee and her fiance, Mr Seah, managed to cancel their application for a 5-room flat in Tampines under the Married Child Prioriy Scheme (MCPS), without changing their ballot number. The MCPS allows married children and parents to reside together. For Build-to-Order HDB flats bidding exercises, 30% of the flat supply will be set aside for 1st time applicants.

According to the HDB statement, applicants for Housing Board (HDB) flats who withdraw from priority schemes that enhance their chances in the ballot will have their cases re-assessed to determine if they can still maintain their queue number without the priority scheme.

HDB also clarified that while priority schemes provide more opportunity for applicants to get a better queue number, applicants are not assured of a favorable queue number. It also does not guarantee a queue position ahead of non-Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS) applicants.

“Should applicants withdraw from a priority scheme such as the MCPS after balloting has been completed, HDB will check the ballot results to determine if they can still maintain their queue number without the priority scheme.”

HDB added that “upon the withdrawal from a priority scheme, (most couples) will likely see an increase in their queue number… a small group of applicants might still maintain their queue numbers”.

It added: “This entire balloting process is audited to ensure it remains robust and fair to all applicants applying for a flat.”

HDB also noted that on Ms Lee and Mr Seah’s date of flat selection on 17th August, they had informed counter staff that they wished to withdraw from the MCPS, and be considered public applicants.

“Our staff ran a check against the ballot results, and verified that they could still be shortlisted without the MCPS, and without a change to their queue number. Such cases are rare, but possible, due to the nature of balloting that involves random chances,” HDB said.

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