In his National Day Rally speech, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong touched on the housing situation in Singapore. He stated that housing will continue to be affordable and accessible to all. He cited an example of a Singaporean earning less than $1,000 per month being able to afford a 2 room HDB flats after subsidies and grants.

During his speech, he announced three additional measures to keep HDB flats affordable.

1) The income ceiling will be raised from $10,000 to $12,000 for HDB flats, and from $12,000 to $14,000 for ECs, so that more households can buy HDB and ECs.

2) The household income ceiling for Special CPF Housing Grants (SHG) will be raised from $6,500 to $8,500 so that two-thirds of all first-timer households will qualify. The maximum SHG will also be doubled from $20,000 to $40,000.

3) The Fresh Start Housing Scheme will help second-timer rental households own a 2-room flat. The flat will have a shorter lease and stricter conditions on resale. A Fresh Start Grant will be provided to help pay for the flat. The family will be supported with counsellors to guide them to solve their problems holistically. The family has to play its part, and show that they are putting their lives in order.

How true is it that low income Singaporeans are able to afford their own 2 room HDB flats? Would a 2 room HDB flat allow a low income Singaporean to start their own families? Would that provide the space needed for a full family to live in?

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