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Applications open for Fresh Start Housing Scheme

Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 14:09
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National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday announced the new Fresh Start Housing Scheme is now open for applications.

NATIONAL Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Thursday announced the new Fresh Start Housing Scheme is now open for applications.

This scheme aims to help second-timer families in public rental flats and with young children own a home of their own again.

On his blog, he said: "Some second-timer public rental families are ready and hoping to own a home again - they are in stable employment, manage their finances well, and have a stable home environment. However, they may find it challenging to buy a flat, or have worries about making a substantial financial commitment.

"Fresh Start will help to bridge the gap for these families by allowing them to buy a more affordable two-room flat on a shorter lease, and giving them another HDB concessionary rate loan and a new Fresh Start Housing Grant of up to S$35,000."

The Ministry of Social and Family Development and the Housing & Development Board will assess the readiness of families who apply and check in with families on the scheme to ensure they remain on track.

"We are starting with a more targeted approach. So the number of Fresh Start families may not be large to begin with. But we will keep the scheme open, and families who are keen but do not qualify on their first attempt can apply again when they are more ready," he said.

"This scheme marks a new way of integrating housing and social assistance, and implementing it will be a learning process for all agencies involved."

He has also approached Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Mohamad Maliki Osman to chair an advisory committee to support outreach efforts and provide guidance on the scheme's implementation. He said Dr Maliki has "a great deal of experience and knowledge in both social work and housing policy".

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