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What Are the HDB Senior Housing Schemes?

Singapore’s Ageing Population

It is predicted that by the year 2030, 25% of Singapore's population consists of people aged 65 and up. In line with the growth of the aging population, Singapore continues to make efforts in improving the quality of life of seniors. Among these is providing more public housing options such as flats and community care apartments where seniors can spend their retirement years more comfortably and securely. These housing options aren't just meant to shelter them but they also come with basic service packages and senior-friendly fittings that will help them in their daily living.

About the Housing & Development Board (HDB)

The Housing & Development Board or HDB is a statutory board in Singapore that oversees the development of public housing in Singapore. With the increasing need to provide the right care and support for the senior community, the HDB teamed up with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of National Development to develop assisted living flats dedicated to seniors.

The HDB paved the way for various types of housing that are suitable for seniors or those entering their retirement years. This is to give a chance for the elderly to live happily, comfortably, and safely inside a home

HDB Senior Citizen Housing Scheme

HDB formulated housing schemes that will cater to the varying needs and financial capabilities of each senior citizen:

Senior Housing Rentals

This is for seniors who come from a lower household income, no longer have other housing options, or have no family members to support them financially. They can rent out a public HDB flat through the Public Rental Scheme. If not, they can rent a private property from existing flat owners in the open market. But when it comes to renting from flat owners, the regulations, tenancy matters, and rental fees should be carefully taken note of. HDB also offers temporary housing for seniors who are waiting for the completion of their new flats.

HDB gives priority to seniors who want to apply for a unit that's near their current place of residence. Flats are being set aside and allocated for the elderly through the Senior Priority Scheme.

Buying HDB Senior Citizen Apartments

2-room Flexi Flats Scheme

Seniors who would like to purchase a new flat can buy a two-room Flexi flat on a shorter lease. Here are the following factors to remember in this flat lease:

  • Those aged 55 and up can choose a lease ranging between 15-45 years in 5-year increments, as long as it covers them and their spouse up to the age of 95.
  • Thanks to the Senior Priority Scheme, at least 40% (minimum of 100 units) of the two-room Flexi flats are reserved for seniors.
  • Seniors may also opt for additional senior-friendly features in the flats that they buy under the Optional Components Scheme (OCS). These include the ff.: built-in kitchen cabinets with induction hobs and cooker hood, kitchen sink, and built-in wardrobe.

New Flat Typology

This is a type of housing option that comes with a basic service package. With this option, seniors can age in place and do their daily activities safely and comfortably. It is simply a form of housing with assisted living to provide permanent assistance and support to seniors.

Here are other important details:

  • The flats come with senior-friendly fittings, larger bathrooms, and other features to accommodate seniors with mobility needs (or higher level of care needs).
  • There will be communal spaces on every floor of the housing development to facilitate social interaction among residents.
  • There is a community garden where seniors can exercise or walk around to keep themselves active and physically healthy.

Community Care Apartments

This is the first housing development of the HDB under the Assisted Living concept. Here, seniors purchase an HDB flat with a basic service package that includes proper care and assistance with activities of daily living.

Senior-Friendly Features

In line with the Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) program, the community care apartments and other types of studio apartments for seniors can be installed with senior-friendly features. This is to ensure the safety and comfort of the elderly residents as they go through their day-to-day activities.

The features include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • grab bars
  • ramps
  • slip-resistant flooring for bathroom tiles

HDB Elderly Studio Apartment Price

How much is the flat price before the government subsidies?

The rates for an HDB flat or community care apartment may range between $40,000 for a 15-year lease to $65,000 for a 35-year lease. These are required to be paid fully with cash or with funds from the senior's Central Provident Fund (CPF).

There are also subsidised flats for seniors who come from low-income households or those who no longer have families to care for or financially support them.

HDB New Flat Typology vs. Red Crowns Assisted Living services and amenities

The HDB New Flat Typology is meant to improve the quality of life of aging Singapore citizens. Other than providing modern flats and other public housing options, there are also care services meant to enhance their way of living. This is quite similar to assisted living Singapore which is a well-recognized nursing home alternative. However, assisted living facilities typically have a more extensive form of services and amenities for their elderly residents compared to HDB flats or to what the feature of community care apartments comprises.

Here are the services and amenities provided by an assisted living facility like Red Crowns:

  • Modern suites and rooms
  • Personalized and nursing care
  • Assistance with basic self-care tasks (bathing, dressing, feeding, etc.)
  • Housekeeping and laundry
  • Quality and delicious meals
  • House-call doctors
  • 24/7 nurses and caregivers
  • Medication management
  • Transportation
  • Recreational activities and fun social events (which will be facilitated by a community manager)

Other than assisted living, many other types of old folks' home Singapore can provide both housing and care services for the elderly.

HDB Monetisation Options

Seniors are also allowed to monetize their owned or purchased flats. They can unlock their home's value if they decide to move out of their current flat.

Here are the monetization options under the Housing and Development Board:

1. Rent Out

Flat owners can rent out their whole place as long as they and their tenants will abide by the rules and regulations that come with it. They can also rent out a room if they're currently residing in the said flat.

Here are the eligibility conditions of the renting out scheme:

  • Only Singapore citizens are allowed to rent out their HDB flats
  • Flat owners must have met the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 5 years
  • When it comes to renting out to non-Malaysian or non-citizens (Singapore Permanent Resident or Foreigner), the Non-Citizen Quota must be considered. Once the quota has been reached, flat owners can only rent out to Singaporeans and Malaysians. The purpose of the quota is to help maintain a good ethnic mix in HDB properties and flats.

2. Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS)

For seniors who want to remain in their existing flat, they can monetize their property through the Lease Buyback Scheme. This allows seniors to unlock the value of their property and receive cash while still living in it. The flat owner will be selling the remaining lease (which they will unlikely need) to HDB.

The household will first determine the length of the lease to retain which will be based on the youngest owner's age. This will tell you how much of the net proceeds you will be able to unlock. Once you sell the remaining lease of your flat to HDB, you will be getting a cash payment upfront depending on the size of the flat. The net proceeds will then be used to top-up the CPF Retirement Account.

Here are the eligibility conditions of the Lease Buyback Scheme:

  • Owners must be 65 years old and up
  • At least one owner should be a Singapore citizen
  • Has a gross monthly income of $14,000 or less
  • No current ownership of 2nd property
  • Owners must have met the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) of 5 years
  • There should be at least 20 years of lease remaining

3. Silver Housing Bonus

This scheme enables elderly flat owners to supplement their retirement income if they're selling their current flat or private property with an annual value of not more than $13,000. This is for seniors who desire to move out of their current flat and purchase a 3-room flat or smaller.

Here are the eligibility conditions of the Silver Housing Bonus:

  • At least one owner is a Singapore citizen and aged 55 and up
  • The gross monthly household income is within $14,000
  • The existing property should be any of the following: HDB flat (already met the Minimum Occupation Period for resale) or private housing with an annual value of $13,000 or less
  • No concurrent ownership of 2nd property
  • The property being bought should be a 3-room flat or smaller from HDB or the resale market
  • The purchase price of the new flat should not exceed the selling price of the last/previously sold property
  • The flat application must be submitted within a year from the date of completion of the second housing transaction (sale or purchase)

Other benefits for seniors in Singapore

It's no surprise that not all members of the senior community have the luxury or privilege to afford proper housing and care. Fortunately, there are plenty of benefits for seniors in Singapore that are being provided by the government branches, private nursing homes, and nursing home alternatives. This is to enable seniors to have access to a comfortable, secure, and healthy way of living.

Get in touch with us.

Learn more about Red Crowns. You may contact us for more information about our services and locations, get a quote or to schedule a tour.
+65 9800 5297
[email protected]
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