Parliamentary reply by Minister Indranee Rajah on Effect of Access to Housing on Parenthood Plans
FOURTEENTH PARLIAMENT OF SINGAPORE
MONDAY, 7 NOVEMBER 2022
Ms He Ting Ru:
To ask the Prime Minister (a) whether the Government will conduct studies to quantify the effect that access to housing such as the length of waiting times for HDB’s BTO flats has on Singaporean couples’ plans and aspirations to have children; (b) what effect have the delays to BTO project completions caused by COVID-19 had on couples’ family planning; and (c) if so, whether the findings can be shared.
Ms Indranee Rajah (for the Prime Minister):
We do not have data on the impact of the BTO delays due to COVID-19 on couples’ parenthood decisions. There are no plans to conduct a study specifically to quantify the effect on housing on parenthood aspirations as even without such a study, our engagements with young couples reflect that access to housing is an important factor in couples’ decisions to have children, and we are already acting on this feedback.
With regard to BTOs, the Government has been providing extensive assistance to help contractors complete ongoing BTO projects as soon as possible without compromising on safety and quality. The number of BTO projects delayed by six months or more has come down to less than 50% of all projects in Oct 2022, from 80% of all projects in Apr 2021.
We are on track to launch 23,000 new flats per year in 2022 and 2023, with a total of up to 100,000 new flats from 2021 to 2025 if needed. Where possible, subject to site and infrastructure readiness, we will also launch more BTO projects with shorter waiting time.
While waiting for the completion of their new flats, eligible households may sign up for the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme, which provides them with a temporary housing option.
The Government will ensure that Singaporeans continue to have access to affordable public housing, in particular, those seeking to own their first home.