The Joint Singles Scheme was established in 1990 to allow single Singaporean women and men from the ages of 35 and 40 respectively to jointly purchase or rent a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat. The scheme was a revision and renaming of the Senior Citizens Scheme.
Under the new ruling, the age limit for women was lowered from 40 to 35, and for men, it was reduced from 50 to 40. The change was introduced in response to public feedback to lower the minimum age so that more singles could qualify for public housing. While the age requirements were relaxed, the revised policy also tightened one other eligibility criterion to ensure that only Singaporean singles from age groups with low marriage rates benefited from the scheme. The new scheme stipulated that all applicants had to be Singapore citizens and satisfy the minimum age requirements. Under the Senior Citizens Scheme, only one applicant had to meet the upper age limit while the other joint applicant need only be 21 years and above.
The Joint Singles Scheme also included other conditions that were unchanged from the Senior Citizens Scheme. For instance, in order to qualify for a direct purchase from the HDB, applicants should not own private properties, and their combined monthly income should not exceed S$5000. Applicants also need not be related or be of the same gender. These restrictions did not apply to joint applicants who purchased flats on the resale market.
The Joint Singles Scheme has been revised several times since its implementation in 1990. Today, up to four applicants may purchase a flat together. The age limits for single or divorced women and men is set at 35 years, while that for a widowed person or orphan is 21 years. There is also no income ceiling unless one applies for a housing grant from the Central Provident Fund (CPF) or a HDB loan.
1. Housing and Development Board. (1991). Annual report 1990/91 (p. 26). Singapore: Housing and Development Board. Call no.: RCLOS 711.4095957 SIN; HDB lowers age for buyers who are single. (1990, August 7). The Straits Times, p. 1. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
2. The Straits Times, 7 Aug 1990, p. 1.
3. The Straits Times, 7 Aug 1990, p. 1.
4. Housing and Development Board. (2013, January 4). Eligibility to buy: Joint Singles Scheme. Retrieved December 17, 2013, from HDB website: http://www.hdb.gov.sg/fi10/fi10321p.nsf/w/BuyResaleFlatJointSingleScheme
The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.