Since August 2015, the Housing Board recently reported that over 20,000 households have been the recipients of the government’s Proximity Housing Grant (PHG).
In the latter part of 2018, around 20,100 households received the grant compared to the 9,100 families in the previous year.
The grant’s main objective was to engage family support as a way of offsetting the burden of purchasing a resale flat for those wanting to be with or live near their parents or children.
In the past year, modifications were initiated to the eligibility criteria so that those who live within 4km far, instead of 2km, of parents or children, may avail the grant.
Also, several guidelines for single applicants and parents of single applicants were made easy to enable the faster application for a grant to live near each other, compared to living together.
A 50% increase was provided for grants where applicants opt to live with their parents or married children.
Since August 2015 to the end of 2018, about 20,400 households sought applications for the PHG. This was around 28% of the 73,100 resale registered applications during that time.
From these 20,400 households, 83% were families while the remaining as single applicants.
About $377 million was the total amount disbursed to the 20,100 families who availed the PHG. The other applicants will have their grants after their resale transactions have been finalised.
Paulin Straughan, a sociology professor of the Singapore Management University, noted that as our society ages, it is essential that we have a social structure that provides ageing-in-place.
He added having grown-up children live near their senior parents can promote a social support system where the family remains as the first responders during a crisis or when great assistance is necessary.
He cited while we may not live in multi-generational households, especially with our small living spaces and valuing our privacy and preference for the nuclear-family structure by younger married couples, this housing grant provides us a venue to facilitate an innovative approach of extended family within our neighbourhood.