SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will simplify the process of buying a flat by consolidating eligibility assessments for HDB flat purchases, Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grants and HDB housing loans into a single application through the HDB Flat Portal.
Upon obtaining the new HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter, buyers of new or resale flats will be able to gain a better understanding of their purchase costs and financing options, HDB said in a press release on Friday (Apr 28).
The HFE letter will replace the current HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter from May 9.
“With greater clarity upfront on their housing budget and financing options, flat buyers will also be able to make more informed and prudent decisions in their home purchase,” HDB said.
Currently, HDB assesses buyers’ eligibility for flat purchase, CPF housing grants and HDB housing loans at different stages of the home-buying process.
For instance, when purchasing a new flat, HDB at the moment assesses the buyer’s eligibility for flat purchase at the application stage, while eligibility for housing grants is assessed at the booking stage.
Eligibility for an HDB housing loan is assessed at the HLE letter application stage, and buyers have to wait for HDB to inform and confirm the application.
At each assessment, flat buyers are required to provide HDB with the necessary supporting documents such as pay slips and CPF statements for verification.
Under the current process, buyers of new or resale flats are unable to determine their eligibility for purchase or housing grants at the application stage, which may lead to “some uncertainty” over their housing budget, HDB said.
NEW FLAT ELIGIBILITY ASSESSMENT
The new HFE letter streamlines the home buying process as the different eligibility assessments for HDB flat purchases, housing grants and HDB housing loans will now be integrated.
From May 9, flat buyers must have a valid HFE letter when they apply for a flat from HDB during a sales launch or open booking of flats or when they obtain an Option to Purchase (OTP) from a flat seller, as well as when they submit a resale application to HDB.
Once flat buyers submit their completed application, they can expect to receive the HFE letter within 21 working days, indicating their eligibility to purchase a new and/or resale flat, along with the amount of CPF housing grants and HDB housing loan they are entitled to.
However, the processing time may be extended during peak periods, such as in the months of and before a sales launch. As such, flat buyers are advised to apply for an HFE letter early, HDB said.