Divorcees in Singapore can now buy a subsidised HDB flat as long as they meet the qualifying requirements, the Government announced in Parliament on March 6, 2018.
The new ruling takes effect immediately.
Previously, former spouses could get only one subsidised flat between them.
Divorcees with sole care and control of all their children under 18 years old could buy a subsidised flat without getting their former spouse’s consent.
But those who did not get sole care and control, or had no children, had to get their former spouse’s consent if they wanted such a flat within three years.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong, in announcing the change, said: “We hope this will help divorced persons provide a more conducive living environment for their children, and go some way to help families through an already-difficult period of transition.”
The rules are being eased, as divorces have been rising over the years. For instance, there were 7,614 divorces and annulments in 2016, a rise from 6,904 in 2006.
The debarment period was introduced in 1997 to reportedly prevent couples from “gaming the system” and owning multiple flats. Initially, it was for five years. In 2013, it was reduced to three years.
A ministry spokesman added: “Each party will be required to abide by the prevailing policies and terms of their flat purchase. We will not hesitate to take stern action against the parties if there is a breach.”
A version of this story first appeared in The Straits Times.
(Photos: 123RF.com and ST)