Monday, January 21, 2013

Mixed views on govt's marriage & parenthood policy

The government has launched a new marriage and parenthood policy that some experts feel is well-thought of and will promote a conducive environment for couples to get married in Singapore.

Housing is an important part of the Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS) which will provide priority allocation of 30 percent of Build-to-Order (BTO) flats and 50 percent of Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) for first-timer married couples with a child aged below 16 at the point of flat application.

Additionally, first-timer married couples with children can rent a flat from the Housing and Development Board (HDB) at an affordable rental rate while awaiting the completion of their flats.

A spokeswoman for PropNex Realty said the new package spells good news for this group of home buyers as they are in real need of homes.

“As the government had eased up the first-timer and second-timer queue for BTO flats, this is probably their next identified group,” she said.

Meanwhile, feedback from the public on the new policy has been mixed.

A young mother in her 30s who declined to be named told PropertyGuru: “The new measures are very encouraging because in addition to the grants given to us such as the baby bonus, the government is also looking into our housing needs. It is very heartening to think that first-time buyers who are married and with children will receive more priority. This will definitely boost our birth rate, as you know Singaporeans are not reproducing much.”

She added: “I am currently married and living with my in-laws. I am able to get along with them but the option of affordable rental prices would be good news to many families who are living with their parents because they cannot afford the rent, or have secured a flat of their own.”

Others feel that the scheme should be expanded to include second-timers. 36-year old homemaker Fazeena Binte Hassan said: “It will only help the first-timers. What about those of us who already have tiny two-room flats as couples and want to shift to a bigger home as we now have children? We don’t get priority and we still have to pay the stamp duty right, and that’s quite a large amount.”

“We are also contributing to population growth, so why not offer concessions to the second-time buyers who are simply new parents hoping to shift into a more spacious environment for their children as well?”

But the PropNex spokeswoman said this policy is meant to “benefit consumers in the past few years who did not get their flat (due to the insufficient HDB flats)".

She went on to say that the scheme gives the assurance that marriage is the key to homes and building a family is another priority after marriage.

Martin Koh | 86666 944 | R020968Z
Sherry Tang | 9844 4400 | R020241C
Senior Sales Director
DTZ Debenham Tie Leung (SEA) Pte Ltd (L3006301G)

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