HDB grants for couples – Quick guide (with updated infographic) to resale HDB and BTO grants for couples

Updated: 16 min read

You might already know that there are various housing grants for couples to offset the cost of buying a new flat, be it an HDB BTO flat or an HDB resale flat. But it can be confusing trying to figure out which grant you’re eligible for, with different eligibility criteria for various situations.

So here’s 99.co‘s quick-and-easy guide and updated infographic to help you make sense of grants and budget for your HDB flat.

But before that:

Importance of understanding HDB Grants

Understanding the intricacies of HDB grants is crucial for couples looking to purchase their dream home. With the ever-evolving policies and grant structures, staying updated can save potential homeowners thousands of dollars.

Moreover, with the Singaporean government’s commitment to making housing affordable, these grants reflect the nation’s push towards a more inclusive housing system. By leveraging these grants, couples can significantly reduce their financial burden, ensuring a smoother transition into their new homes.

Now onto the guide:

Various factors — such as household income — determine the HDB grant amount a couple can get. The key thing is that buyers of HDB resale flats are offered more grants than BTO (Build To Order) and SBF (Sale of Balance Flats) applicants.

This is because BTO and SBF flats are sold directly by HDB at a subsidised rate. (Open booking flats also fall under the same category as BTO and SBF flats.)

Now, let’s find out which HDB grants you may be eligible for. (From 9 May 2023 onwards, you can find out how much grant you’re eligible for by applying for the HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter.) 

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hdb housing grants for couples families infographic

If you’re single, we at 99.co have another article for you here: Quick guide to BTO and resale HDB grants for singles

HDB grants for couples applying for BTO/SBF/Open Booking flats

Technically, only two grants are available for BTO/SBF/Open Booking flats: the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) and the Step-Up CPF Housing Grant. (The EHG replaced the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) and Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) in September 2019.)

The EHG is for first-timers, while the other grant is for second-timers. Specifically, the Step-Up CPF Housing Grant is reserved for those upgrading from a subsidised 2-room flat or public rental flat.

So most BTO/SBF/Open Booking flat applicants would be looking at only the EHG, which is tiered according to household income. This means that lower-income households will receive a higher EHG grant.

If both applicants are first-timers

  • Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG): up to S$80,000. To qualify, the average gross monthly household income for the 12-month period (see below) must be within S$9,000.

If one applicant is a first-timer, and the other a second-timer

  • Enhanced CPF Housing Grant for Singles, EHG (Singles): up to S$40,000. To qualify, half of the average monthly household income for the 12-month period (see below) must be within S$4,500. For example, a couple who earned S$56,000 in the 12-month income assessment period will be eligible for the EHG (Singles), as half of the average monthly income is S$2,333.

Here’s the table showing how the EHG is tiered for couples and singles:

Enhanced CPF Housing Grant for Couples   Enhanced CPF Housing Grant for Singles  
Average monthly household income Grant amount Half of the average monthly household income Grant amount
Not more than S$1,500 S$80,000 Not more than S$750 S$40,000
S$1,501 – S$2,000 S$75,000 S$751 – S$1,000 S$37,500
S$2,001 – S$2,500 S$70,000 S$1,001 – S$1,250 S$35,000
S$2,501 – S$3,000 S$65,000 S$1,251 – S$1,500 S$32,500
S$3,001 – S$3,500 S$60,000 S$1,501 – S$1,750 S$30,000
S$3,501 – S$4,000 S$55,000 S$1,751 – S$2,000 S$27,500
S$4,001 – S$4,500 S$50,000 S$2,001 – S$2,250 S$25,000
S$4,501 – S$5,000 S$45,000 S$2,251 – S$2,500 S$22,500
S$5,001 – S$5,500 S$40,000 S$2,501 – S$2,750 S$20,000
S$5,501 – S$6,000 S$35,000 S$2,751 – S$3,000 S$17,500
S$6,001 – S$6,500 S$30,000 S$3,001 – S$3,250 S$15,000
S$6,501 – S$7,000 S$25,000 S$3,251 – S$3,500 S$12,500
S$7,001 – S$7,500 S$20,000 S$3,501 – S$3,750 S$10,000
S$7,501 – S$8,000 S$15,000 S$3,751 – S$4,000 S$7,500
S$8,001 – S$8,500 S$10,000 S$4,001 – S$4,250 S$5,000
S$8,501 – S$9,000 S$5,000 S$4,251 – S$4,500 S$2,500
More than S$9,000 NA More than S$4,500 NA

Source: HDB

If both applicants are second-timers

  • Step-Up CPF Housing Grant: S$15,000. This is for couples living in a 2-room subsidised flat in a non-mature estate or public rental flat, and wish to buy a new 3-room flat in a non-mature estate. Those living in a public rental flat buying a 2-room flat in a non-mature estate may also be eligible for the grant. See below^ for the income criteria. 

If one applicant is not a Singapore Citizen (Non-Citizen Spouse Scheme)

  • Enhanced CPF Housing Grant for Singles, EHG (Singles): up to S$40,000. To qualify, half of the average monthly household income for the 12-month period^ (see below) must be within S$4,500. For example, a couple who earned S$56,000 during the 12-month income assessment period will be eligible for the EHG (Singles), as half of the average monthly income is S$2,333.

^Income criteria for Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) and Step-Up CPF Housing Grant:

From 9 May 2023 onwards, to be eligible for either of these grants, you and/or your co-applicants/ core occupiers must have worked continuously for at least 12 months. The household income will be assessed for a period of these 12 months, which is calculated up to two months before the HFE letter application.

For instance, if you’re applying for the HFE letter in May 2023, the income assessment period will be from April 2022 to March 2023.

On top of that, at least one of the applicants or core occupiers must be working at the time of the HFE application.

Resale levy

Couples who buy a new HDB flat or receive a CPF Housing Grant will be required to pay a resale levy (based on the size of the first HDB flat) if they plan to buy another new HDB flat or a new EC unit.

This is how the government ensures a level playing field, making sure people won’t take advantage of the property subsidies and game the housing system.

Those buying a resale flat won’t have to pay a resale levy.

HDB grants for couples applying for resale flats

If both applicants are first-timers

  • Family Grant:

    4-room flat or smaller

    5-room flat or larger

    S$80,000* (up from S$50,000)

    S$50,000* (up from S$40,000)

    To qualify, your monthly household income must not be more than S$14,000 (or S$21,000 for extended family applicants). 
  • Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG): up to S$80,000. To qualify, the average gross monthly household income for the 12-month period (see above) must be within S$9,000.
  • Proximity Housing Grant (PHG):

    Live with your parents/ children

    Live within 4km of your parents/ children 

    S$30,000

    S$20,000

    As for the proximity condition, your parents or children can either be living in public housing or private property. There’s no income ceiling for the PHG.

This means you can get a maximum of S$190,000 HDB housing grants if you’re buying a resale flat as a first-timer. 

HDB flats for sale


 

One applicant is a first-timer, and the other is a second-timer

  • Family Grant:

    4-room flat or smaller

    5-room flat or larger

    S$40,000* (up from S$25,000)

    S$25,000* (up from S$20,000)

    • The monthly household income is capped at S$14,000 (or S$21,000 for extended family applicants).
    • Previously, this grant was called the Half-Housing Grant, in which the amount is half of what you would get from the Family Grant. Now this grant falls under the Family Grant. 
  • Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) for Singles: Up to S$40,000. The grant amount is based on income, with the maximum grant amount being S$40,000. Likewise, half of the average gross monthly household income must be within S$4,500^ (see above).
  • Proximity Housing Grant (PHG):

    Live with your parents/ children

    Live within 4km of your parents/ children 

    S$30,000

    S$20,000

    You and your partner must not have taken the PHG before to be eligible for this. To meet the proximity condition, your parents or children can either be living in public housing or private property. There’s no income ceiling for the PHG.

For applicants who have previously received a Singles Grant

  • Top-Up Grant: This is for those who have previously bought an HDB flat
    • as a single and later got married with an SC or PR, or 
    • with a non-resident spouse, who later received SC or PR status (or the child gets an SC or PR status) 

The amount depends on whether the house you bought is from the resale market or HDB. The monthly income is capped at S$14,000.

Resale flat

2-room or 2-room Flexi flat from HDB (eg. BTO, SBF or open booking) 

The amount of the Family Grant amount you are eligible for currently, minus the Singles Grant amount you had previously received*

S$40,000

If both applicants are second-timers

  • Step-Up CPF Housing Grant: S$15,000. This is for couples living in a 2-room subsidised flat in a non-mature estate or public rental flat, and wish to buy a resale 3-room flat in a non-mature estate. Those living in a public rental flat buying a 2-room resale flat in a non-mature estate may also be eligible for the grant. See above for the income criteria. 

HDB flats for sale in non-mature estates


 

Citizen Top-Up Grant

For Singapore Citizen/Singapore Permanent Resident (SC/SPR) households with a household member obtaining Singapore Citizenship status, they are also eligible for a Citizen Top-Up Grant of S$10,000. This household member can either be:

  • The SPR spouse originally listed in the flat application gets Singapore Citizenship
  • An SC child who is born to the SC applicant/owner and spouse listed in the flat application
  • The SPR parent/child/sibling listed in the flat application gets Singapore Citizenship

This Citizen Top-Up Grant is akin to a reimbursement for the household. This is because SC/SPR households have to pay an extra S$10,000 when they buy a BTO flat or get S$10,000 lower in grant amount when they buy a resale flat.

Future of HDB grants

As Singapore continues to grow and evolve, so will its housing policies. The government’s proactive approach to revising and introducing new HDB grants indicates a forward-thinking strategy aimed at addressing the changing needs of its citizens. Couples, especially those looking to start a family, should keep an eye on future policy announcements. With the potential for even more beneficial grants on the horizon, the dream of owning an HDB flat becomes more attainable for every Singaporean.

For more information about HDB resale grants, check out our detailed article: HDB Resale Grants: How much can you get?

What if one of the applicants has yet to graduate/ORD from National Service?

HDB announced that for BTO applications from May 2018 onwards, the income assessment can be deferred until key collection for full-time National Servicemen (NSFs) and student applicants. One of the applications must also be aged 30 years old and below at the point of application. The deferment of income assessment for these couple applicants still qualifies them to apply for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG).

You can head over to HDB’s website for more information about the Deferred Income Assessment.

How will the HDB grants for couples be disbursed?

From 9 May 2023 onwards, all grants will be distributed equally among the applicants and/or core occupiers and credited into their respective CPF Ordinary Accounts (CPF OA). This is even if one of the applicants or core occupiers is a PR. Previously, all the grants were only credited into the account of the SC. 

Another change is that occupiers won’t be able to use the grants credited into their CPF OA unless they are listed as co-owners of the flat. Alternatively, they can use it for the next flat purchase. 

No cash will be disbursed.

*Given the increase in Family Grant amount announced during Budget 2023, if you submit your resale flat application from 14 February 2023 at 3.30 p.m. to 31 March 2023, you’ll receive the additional grant from HDB within three months from the date of the resale completion. 

Do take note that when you sell your house, you’ll need to refund the grant amount plus accrued interest (of 2.5% per year) back to your own CPF account. This is on top of any CPF savings used to pay for your house.

The first S$60,000 of the housing grants will be credited back to your CPF OA account, while the remaining grant amount will be put into your CPF Special Account / Retirement Account and Medisave Account.

(Single and aged 35 and above? Find out what grants you may be eligible for when buying a BTO or resale HDB flat.)


What do you think about the BTO and resale HDB grants? Let us know in the comments below.

If you found this article helpful, 99.co recommends How to get enough money to buy a property in Singapore and Deciding between an HDB loan and vs bank loan? Here’s a quick reference. 

[Additional reporting by Virginia Tanggono]


Frequently asked questions

What is the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)?

The EHG is a housing grant that you can apply for if you’re a first-timer applicant buying a BTO flat or resale flat, with a gross monthly household income of not more than S$9,000.

How much HDB grant can I get?

If you’re a first-timer getting a BTO flat, you can get up to a S$80,000 HDB grant. The maximum grant amount is more than double (up to S$190,000) if you apply for a resale flat.

Do you have to return the HDB grant?

No, you don’t have to return it to HDB or CPF. What you need to do, though, is to refund it back to your own CPF account, plus any other CPF monies used to pay for the house and accrued interest, when you sell your house.
How will the HDB grants for couples be disbursed?
Starting from May 9, 2023, there will be a new approach to the distribution of HDB grants for couples. All grants, including the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) and Step-Up CPF Housing Grant, will be evenly allocated among the applicants and/or core occupiers. The funds will be directly credited to their respective CPF Ordinary Accounts (OA). This disbursement method is applicable to both Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Singapore Permanent Residents (SPRs) and will be fully credited into their CPF OA.


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Comments

    • LC

      Hi, I initially misunderstood the various grants as being equivalent to a bonus payout. But have realised it is not. Could you help me understand what the terms/conditions are to the grants? Eg Is it then an “interest free loan” that is payable when and how? Thanks.

      • Kyle Leung

        Hi LC, a grant is not a bonus payout. It has a 2.5% accrued interest attached to it. The grant amount and the accured interest will have to be returned to your CPF account when you sell your flat (you can also pay back early to avoid incurring accrued interest). More information is available here: https://www.99.co/blog/singapore/hdb-sale-proceeds-cpf/

    • Erfhina

      Hi, me n my spouse are both first timer with total household income 5800sgd. But we are planning to buy 5rooms, are we not eligible for any grants? Thank you

      • Kyle Leung

        Hi Erfhina, depending on whether you’ll be buying BTO or resale, you’ll be eligible for EHG (both BTO and resale), Family Grant (resale) and PHG (resale, if living near/with parents) based on your income.

    • Andreas

      Hi,
      Is there age limit for children in Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)?
      Our children are 9 & 11 yo, which definitely stay with us. will we still be able to get the Proximity Housing Grant (PHG)?

    • Pok Meng Chai

      Hi, we are living in SBF p4room flat at YGW and meet MOP. We are consider to upgrade to 5room. Should we buy a new flat or resale flat as a 2nd timer. Please advise. Thanks

    • Nadirah

      Does buying BTO not have any PHG? so it is just mainly EHG?

      • Kyle Leung

        Hi Nadirah! Yes, PHG is only for resale flats.

    • Xin

      Hi, may I know for resale flat application, when are we supposed to apply for the grant? Are we able to apply for the grant prior to OTP so that we are financially sure that we can afford it

    • Dorah

      Both me and my spouse is first time applying for Bto .infome is 8000 month.He been working 3 years continuous but on the month of the application he have a change of contract He have a job but not paid for that month..are we still eligible for the grant? Thank u

    • Keryn

      Hi, Me and my partner are planning to apply for BTO, but only one of us is a student. Will it still be possible to be eligible for the deferred income assessment?

    • Lynda

      Hi, I am a first timer and thinking of applying BTO 4rm/5rm in Aug 2021. I have just started working April 2021. My husband would be a 2nd timer and had been working for 15 yrs.
      My question would be
      1. Can I still apply for the BTO house though I just started working.
      1. Am I eligible for grants? If yes, what grants am I eligible for? Will it affect income assesments for grants?
      2. Do my husband have to pay any levy? If yes, how much?

    • TAY HUA SIOK

      Hi i am sc but my husband is Malaysian. I plan to buy 4 room resale flat. I am the only applicant, my husband and daughters (all below 21 years old) are occupiers. May i know how much grant I am entitle? Thanks

      *I already obtained the HLE

    • Tree

      Hi,

      Would like to understand what about wife waiting for PR status? Can I apply for BTO 1st then apply for grant later after she get her PR, btw I’m singaporean.

    • Suria Revi

      Hi, my partner and I are planning to take up a SBO flat and will like to know it we are eligible for the staggered down payment scheme (If so, when do we have to pay the remaining 5 percent) and the PHG. Thank you.

    • Caleb

      Yo guys would super appreciate the help and advice.

      So my wife (SPR) and I (SC) intend to get a house at $585k. Our total CPF OA is $56k and HLE is $423,600. We really need to max out our grant to be eligible for the flat so here’s where I’m seeking advice.
      We can get a proximity grant because it’s 4km from where my parents live. $20k.
      Our total salary is $6.7k so that means we’re eligible for EHG of $25k.
      There is a family grant of up to $80k.
      This means we’re eligible for $125k grants. Is this accurate? Is there anything I’m missing out on that I do not understand about the recent changes?

      Will like to know before we make any decision because if we can’t receive the grant, then we would have to fork out cash which we do not want to be in such a state. Thank you

      • 99.co

        Hi Caleb,

        Thank you for your query. You can base your grant calculations based on HDB’s site here (https://www.hdb.gov.sg/residential/buying-a-flat/flat-and-grant-eligibility/couples-and-families/cpf-housing-grants-for-resale-flats-families).

        You’re right, based on the total income of S$6.7k, the EHG will be S$25k. And the PHG will be S$20k given that it’s within 4km of your parents’ house.

        However, note that you won’t be able to get the maximum S$80k for the Family Grant, as it is based on resident status and flat type. As a SC/PR household, the Family Grant you can get is S$70k if you’re buying 2-room to 4-room flat, or S$40k if you’re buying 5-room or bigger.

        It is best to check with HDB on the actual grant amount.

        Hope this helps and good luck!

    • Benjamin

      Hi,
      i would like to check if there is a max usage of the grants provided?

      e.g if i have 130k in grant, 50k in OA, and im buying a 350k HDB 3-RM

      20% of the downpayment would be @70k.
      130k of grants already exceeds the 20% mark
      Am i able to fully use the 130k to pay a higher downpayment?
      or is the grant capped at a limit to only assist me in paying for the downpayment?

    • Iris

      Hi, will there be a reassessment of our grant provided at point of key collection? and in the event the amount given is lower, do we need to pay the amount used back according to the initial grant given?

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