For most singles, saving up for the 25% down payment and getting the loan approved were the main problems, as were issues like building a credit record. Singapore's Richest. It sucks when your own flesh and blood doesn’t acknowledge your sexuality. Despite the relaxation of regulations, LGBT and other singles still faced problems and disadvantages compared to their heterosexual married counterparts[5]. Hey guys! Singapore’s public housing makes up about 80% of all housing, according to the city-state’s department of statistics, and is hailed as a successful model. Demand was high in the early years of the rule change. The majority of the residential housing developments in Singapore are publicly governed and developed, and home to approximately 80% of the resident population. This is useful for a nation that lies on the equator, as the trees and shrubbery help in reducing the heat, albeit slightly. They could buy a spacious 4-room BTO flat, at an average of $430,000 before subsidies. The monthly income ceiling criterion was also raised in September 2019 - from $6,000 to $7,000 for eligible first-timer singles aged 35 and above to buy a flat from the HDB, to buy a resale flat on the open market with the CPF Housing Grant, and to get a HDB housing loan for the purchase of a new or resale flat. The programme was targeted at some 67,000 singles aged between 35 and 49. There was a need for the HDB to build more flats to address this growing number of singles or else their dissatisfaction could grow and perhaps translate into votes against the government in future general elections. Public housing in Singapore is managed by the state Housing and Development Board (HDB) under a 99-year lease. As long as you’re a first-time homeowner with a monthly household income of below S$9,000 (JSS) or S$4,500 (SSCS), you’ll be eligible for the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant. As with BTO purchases, you can buy a resale flat once you reach the big 3-5, under either the Joint Singles Scheme or the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme. The gross monthly income of you and your partner must not exceed S$16,000. The LGBT community is statistically one of the most discriminated against demographics in the world today. North Korea’slaws are silent with respect to the right to have same-sex sexual activity. There is also no income ceiling unless one applies for a housing grant from the Central Provident Fund (CPF) or a HDB loan. Singaporean citizens also enjoy one of the relatively lowest tax rates in the world but the country also suffers from a severe lack of press freedom and LGBT rights. Looking for options outside the cramped 2-room box? It’s also worth taking time for a read of Same But Different, a legal guidebook created by practising lawyers and veteran activists. A LGBT rights icon has died in Savannah after a brief battle with COVID-19. Public housing in Singapore is managed by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) under temporary leaseholds for 99 years. Discrimination against LGBT and other singles, Landmark ruling change for resale HDB flats, Joint use of CPF for buying private property, More The Singapore LGBT encyclopaedia Wiki, Section 377A of the Penal Code (Singapore), The Online Citizen interviews the organiser and participants of the inaugural Pink Dot, 16 May 2009, Pink Dot 2010 Focusing on Our Families (Part 1), PINK DOT 2011 SUPPORT THE FREEDOM TO LOVE - 18 JUNE 2011, Archive of judgment of High Court judge Lai Chiu Siu, 15 March 2011, Archive of Lianhe Zaobao feature article on Loo Zihan (12 February 2012), Archive of performance score for Loo Zihan's re-enactment of "Cane" (19 February 2012), Discrimination against homosexuals in Singapore, https://the-singapore-lgbt-encyclopaedia.wikia.org/wiki/Public_housing_for_LGBT_Singaporeans?oldid=29796, Stephen Netto, "99.co launches new initiative against LGBTQ discrimination in Singapore’s housing and property industry", The Online Citizen, 20 September 2019. The Government was also of the view then that the use of space would not be fully optimised if singles were allowed to occupy a whole flat. In 2008, the number of singles in Singapore was 918,700. The small city-state is much more than its reputation for cleanliness, safety and predictability. Once you hit 35 years old, you can (finally) partake in the grand Singaporean rite of passage that is applying for a BTO flat. Under the Singles Grant, joint singles with a monthly household income not above S$14,000 and singles with a monthly income not above S$7,000 can receive subsidies of up to S$25,000 each. A landmark regulatory change was made in October 1991 when the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme was introduced to allow single Singaporeans aged 35 years and above to purchase resale HDB flats. There’re a couple of resale-exclusive grants you might snag as well. This resulted in a bit of a double-whammy: a community that was more likely to need a place of its own, but struggled with getting a home. The LGBTQ+ Guide to Housing Options in Singapore: Renting, Buying, and Queer-Friendly Resources, Best Basque Burnt Cheesecakes in Singapore, 9 Groundbreaking Singaporean Writers to Read in 2021, Best Premium Japanese Restaurants in Singapore for Sashimi, Kaiseki, Robatayaki and Omakase Pampering, A Dining Guide to Clarke Quay: Best Restaurants and Bars in Singapore’s Riverfront Entertainment Enclave, Best Wanton Noodles In Singapore: Top Hawker Stalls & Eateries For This Iconic Noodle Dish, © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED MULTIKULTI PTE LTD 2020, Virtual Restaurant Review: Grammi by Beppe De Vito Does Affordable Italian Dining Right, Freshly Shucked: The Best Restaurants and Bars to Eat Oysters in Singapore, Men’s Suits in Singapore: Where to Get A Ready-To-Wear, Made-to-Measure, or Bespoke Piece. On 19th July 2005, Mah Bow Tan, Minister for National Development made an announcement in Parliament in his Ministerial Statement on Policy Changes Affecting The Property Market which had a direct effect on gay and lesbian couples. For instance, under laws related to buying or owning a property in Singapore, same-sex couples are considered two private individuals (rather than a family nucleus), even if you got married overseas in a country that recognises such marriages. Standard tenancy agreements, based on templates provided by the Council for Estate Agencies, feature a clause allowing landlords to terminate the lease should tenants “use the flat for any illegal purpose or activities of an improper nature”. A ruling by Hong Kong's High Court on Wednesday, 4 March 2020 that the Hong Kong government’s policy of denying legally married same-sex couples the right to apply for public housing was unlawful and unconstitutional[7] raised hopes among their Singaporean counterparts that the same situation would one day apply in the island republic. Initially, applicants could buy resale 3-room or smaller flats in any area except densely populated estates such as Bukit Merah, Geylang, Kallang, Whampoa, Queenstown, Farrer Road, Tanjong Rhu, Mountbatten, Outram Park and Beach Road. Non-related singles would henceforth be allowed to use their Central Provident Fund (CPF) savings to jointly purchase private residential property. Alternatively, you might want to be the sole owner of your BTO flat, even if you’re planning to live with your partner or friends – that’s where the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme comes in. This free e-book is a goldmine of legal info for LGBTQ+ couples and families on everything from cohabitation contracts to CPF, housing to health insurance. When she’s not dreaming of cheesecake, she can be found in the dance studio, working on craft projects, or curled up with a good book. Single rooms in a non-central area can start from as low as S$600 per month, while a three-room non-central flat might hover around a very pocket-friendly S$2,000. Assuming it cost $2,000 a month to rent an HDB flat, someone who rented from the age of 25 to 35 would be pouring a whopping $240,000 down the drain. How much can you expect to splash out for an EC? Some people write off Singapore as staid. With the relaxation of this rule, gay and lesbian couples who wished to purchase private property jointly, could use their CPF savings. But for the LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community, this rite … The star attraction of the BTO route is, of course, the price tag. If you and your partner want to legally own a home together, there’s the Joint Singles Scheme, which allows between two to four singles to jointly own a BTO flat and use their CPFs for payment. In the past, while there was no restriction to 2 unrelated persons buying private property in joint names, they could not utilise their CPF savings in the purchase. The new grant gave eligible first-timer singles, aged at least 35 years and earning not more than $4,500 a month, up to $40,000. One man explained that he had to move out because: “My mum still hasn’t accepted the fact I’m gay, despite coming out to her eight years back. It’s worth noting that the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) you get is essentially halved – EHG grant amounts range from S$2,500 to S$40,000 for singles earning below S$4,500, in contrast to S$5,000 to S$80,000 for joint singles earning below S$9,000. As LGBTQ+ Singaporeans, our partners cannot be legally recognised through marriage – and that means forever being boxed into the ‘singles’ section of housing schemes. From August 2001, singles could buy resale HDB flats located in any area in Singapore, and from September 2004 onwards, they were allowed to buy resale HDB flats of any size, including executive flats and maisonettes. But that was only on condition that they waited and rented till they were 35. Two-room Flexi flats generally hover around the S$100,000 to S$150,000 range, though they can dip to as low as S$75,000. Since HDB housing loans aren’t available for ECs, you’ll likely need a bank loan instead. To give yourself more peace of mind, you can propose to remove the phrase on improper activities while negotiating your tenancy agreement. Singapore as a city state does not exactly resemble a concrete jungle at all unlike other cities. Under the new ruling, the age limit for women was lowered from 40 to 35, and for men, it was reduced from 50 to 40. LGBT's "Strong Concern" About Housing Discrimination. This requires that your average gross monthly household income be S$7,000 and below. Even for two-bedders, prices might soar upward of a million for condos in the city centre, falling to around S$800,000 for less central locations. Ending the Relationship. This is because the flat supply for 2-room Flexi BTO flats in non-mature estates has remained steady at an average of about 4,000 units per year since 2014. Saying that it is in Singapore’s DNA to be inclusive, he added: "The fact is they (the LGBTQ community) live in Singapore peacefully, no discrimination at work, housing (and) education. While the age requirements were relaxed, the revised policy also tightened one other eligibility criterion to ensure that only Singaporean singles from age groups with low marriage rates benefited from the scheme. It often feels like those who don’t fit the conventional ‘family unit’ in Singapore have to poke around in the bargain bin of housing options, long after everyone has had their pick. The scheme was a revision and renaming of the Senior Citizens Scheme. The majority of the residential housing developments in Singapore are publicly governed and developed, and home to approximately 78.7% of the resident population. Jolene has a major sweet tooth and would happily eat pastries for all meals. According to data from 99.co, the average price of a three-room resale flat clocked in at nearly S$300,000 in 2019, though you might hunt down more affordable offerings in the north and west. And if you’re ready to make concrete plans, we’ve also put together a handful of LGBTQ-friendly property resources. Recent polls even suggest that support for same-sex marriage is on the rise among the general public, though the process is slow. There’s always the resale market to consider. The age limits for single or divorced women and men is set at 35 years, while that for a widowed person or orphan is 21 years. The Joint Singles Scheme also included other conditions that were unchanged from the Senior Citizens Scheme. After the easing of the home ownership policy, some 3,007 LGBT and other singles bought resale HDB flats between October 1991 and January 1993. The Board's priority was to house families so only married couples who would likely produce children should be entitled to subsidised public housing. Thankfully for the LGBT community, most, but not all, Singapore landlords would not ask questions about their sexual orientation. Singapore is a young country, having only gained independence from the British in 1965. The next tier up on the housing price ladder is an executive condominium (EC). As with resale HDBs, the size and location of your EC is entirely up to your budget – though you might have to fork out a higher downpayment. Previous attempts claim damages for alleged discriminatory conduct in such fields have been dismissed in Singaporean courts. Similarly to new EC purchases, you’re on your own when it comes to money matters. They just aren’t looking hard enough. LGBT or not, it could be unbearable for many to live at home till 35. Although this demographic has seen positive gains as of late, in both marriage rights and employment equality, there is still a long way for them to go to achieve the same equality that those who only have opposite sex attractions face. Singapore recognizes transgender people, but does not allow for same-sex marriage. Since then it had surged past the 1 million mark to 1,057,200 in 2018 – an increase of about 15%. Among a record eleven parties set to contest Singapore's election on Friday, there has been virtual silence on one of the conservative city-state's most controversial issues, gay rights. All these add up to make your resale flat a tad budget-friendlier. These restrictions did not apply to joint applicants who purchased flats on the resale market. They were frustrated when they always only managed to get the unwanted leftover flats. South Korea’s constitution prohibits discrimination based on sex, religion, or social status, which the Ministry of Justice has said applies to LGBTQ people. They could receive this grant whether they bought a new or resale flat, and with no restriction on flat type and location. The dark side of flexibility, of course, is instability – LGBTQ folks tend to be at higher risk of (perfectly legal) eviction. There’s also the question of size – if you’d like more space for your furbabies or home office, the two-room restriction might not suit you. As most of the housing needs of families had been met by 1991, the Government acknowledged the fact that some Singaporeans chose not to marry and would prefer to live on their own. Applicants also need not be related or be of the same gender. There is a growing and increasingly open LGBT community in Singapore. Indeed, Section 377A has long been a catalyst for galvanizing the LGBT community here, having inspired repeal campaigns in 2007. HONG KONG: Hong Kong's high court ruled Wednesday (Mar 4) that married same-sex couples should be allowed to apply for public housing after a government ban was found to be unconstitutional. Prior to the 1990s, no single Singaporean of any age was able to purchase even a resale HDB flat anywhere on the island. Room near: Singapore North, Singapore Central, Singapore Central Singapore, Singapore North-East & Singapore South West. LGBT flat buyers could also get the same loan when they finally qualify to buy a flat, that is, up to 90% via a HDB loan. Some gay Singaporeans were forced to leave home because their parents were less than accepting. In early 2020, the HDB announced that more such flats would be offered in Choa Chu Kang, Tengah and Woodlands for upcoming BTO exercises in May and August 2020. This rental site allows landlords to add an LGBTQ-friendly tag to listings, so you can be assured of their inclusivity. However, many LGBT and other singles were still indignant at being unfairly excluded from buying highly subsidised new flats. So 35 is absurdly far away for you, but you don’t have the dough for a private property (who does?). For those planning to rent, another spot where you can search for queer-friendly property listings is Roomies. Here, she shares about what living in Singapore as an American is really like and offers insight into the pros and cons of life in Singapore as an expat. Pink Dot told Yahoo News Singapore that the livestream had a peak of 6,800 live views during its live broadcast. A 2013 rule change allowed singles to buy BTO flats for the first time, and income ceiling criteria for grants have been raised progressively over the years. The scheme was implemented soon after then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong announced in his inaugural National Day Rally speech in 1991 that the government was looking into reviewing the housing policy to help singles own or rent HDB flats. ECs have all the frills of a private condo, but generally come at a lower price tag – around 30% cheaper – thanks to government subsidies on land cost. If you’re looking for queer-friendly property advice from experts, William Tan is a renowned force in the field. Another key difference is that CPF family grants are available for ECs – however, note that these grants are not open to singles or joint singles. Prior to this, non-related parties were not allowed to use their CPF savings jointly in the purchase of private properties. Still, we’ve got more breathing space than we did even ten years ago. Driving up prices is the golden combo of high demand plus low number of new launches each year; you can check out HDB’s list of available and upcoming EC projects here. Bobby Soletto was a dancer at New York City's Stonewall Inn in 1969 and … Prices have been creeping steadily upward year on year, with a jump of 4.8% in 2020 alone. To qualify, your collective monthly household income cannot exceed S$9,000 during the 12 months before your flat application. ... the LGBT older adult advocacy group SAGE embarked on a National LGBT Elder Housing ... Capoccia says housing — even affordable housing … Both the mostly unfavorable public view on homosexuality as well as Singaporean legislation and law enforcement pose problems for the country’s LGBT community … There are LGBT nightclubs, bars, and a yearly gay pride event called Pink Dot. If you’re living near your parents (within a 4km radius), the Proximity Housing Grant will net you an additional S$10,000 in grants as well. Singles can buy a new EC only under the Joint Singles Scheme, again at the ripe old age of 35 and above. Gay rights:A supporter wrapped in a rainbow flag attends the annual 'Pink Dot' event in a public show of support for LGBT community at Hong Lim Park in Singapore on July 1, … The two grants were replaced by the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG) in September 2019. Furthermore, 5% of the domicile must be paid for in cold, hard cash. The situation was much easier for, say, a straight, married 27-year old Singaporean couple. There were 37.6 applicants on average vying for a single flat in 2013, but the number since tapered to 2.4 in 2019. To find ECs in that sweet pricing spot, you can track when their 5-year Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) is up through the HDB platform or on helpful sites like resaleec.sg. Singles are also limited to new 2-room Flexi flats in non-mature estates, i.e. It probably also realised that many were gay but did not mention this explicitly. Besides a Facebook group for LGBTQ-friendly property listings (Singapore LGBTQ Property Listing – Buy, Sell and Rent), he’s also the brains behind Prident – an LGBTQ+ collective producing content on financial matters like property, investment, and insurance. While the ban on gays serving in the Singapore Armed Forces was only lifted in 2000, the Armed Forces adapted the Category of 302 from the International Classification of Diseases (9 th revision) and continued to inquire into the sexual orientation of all prospective enlistees. In 1990, the Joint Singles Scheme was established allow single Singaporean men and women from the ages of 40 and 35 years respectively to jointly purchase or rent a HDB flat[6]. I find the living situation untenable. Singapore’s attitude towards its LGBT population and their rights has often been a topic of debate and concern. The couple, however, didn't officially become same sex until after the marriage. Since same-sex marriage is illegal in Singapore, gay couples must either purchase flats in the private or resale (HDB) markets or wait until they are 35 years of age when they become eligible to buy new HDB flats under the Joint Singles Scheme (see below). The Joint Singles Scheme has been revised several times since its implementation in 1990. Since LGBT couples are not eligible for marriage in Singapore, they are excluded from such HDB schemes. What’s more, renting gives you plenty of flexibility to move around, upgrade, or downgrade as you please. However, it should be noted that single applicants have to be at least 35 years of age. Ahead of the livestream, organisers called for people across Singapore to light up their homes with pink lights, in lieu of Pink Dot’s traditional night light-up of Hong Lim Park. Gay couples could also take advantage of the scheme. Under the Senior Citizens Scheme, only one applicant had to meet the upper age limit while the other joint applicant need only be 21 years and above. Resale HDB flats aren’t tied to restrictions on flat size, location, or income ceiling, so your budget’s the only limit. While there’re a ton of buying and renting resources out there, we’ve sifted out a few LGBTQ-specific ones that might come in handy. For instance, in order to qualify for a direct purchase from the HDB, applicants should not own private property, and their combined monthly income should not exceed S$5000. There were still incidences where landlords did question why two men stayed together, for example; and there had been situations where property agents were instructed not to rent to LGBT couples. LGBT Rights in Dubai, United Arab Emirates: homosexuality, gay marriage, gay adoption, serving in the military, sexual orientation discrimination protection, changing legal gender, donating blood, age of consent, and more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkrRk_x090w, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nROTeHhl1l8, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUnU42n0PMI, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39K4xW1LoAM, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXnbvsHHRsw, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC7ElS-ikqc, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Un7Srj6pXU, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xZCPeIzo7fE, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAPGyJuJsb4, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h45d13e1JMA. They were even given subsidies to do so[4]. Today, up to 4 applicants may purchase a flat together. As for the suggestion that LGBT singles should just stay with their families, anyone with a finger on the pulse of reality would know it was naive. There’re a few restrictions to note: you and your partner (if applying jointly) must be Singapore citizens and first-time home buyers. Thanks to an archaic little law known as 377A, sex between men is technically illegal; other queer sexual activities may easily be judged ‘improper’ as well. No laws exist specifically protecting LGBT Singaporeans from discrimination in the workplace, housing or any other relevant areas. Beyond this piece of legislation, however, there remain numerous areas of discrimination that affect the LGBT community in Singapore. Previously, only joint owners who were immediate family members (i.e., spouse, children, siblings and grand-parents) could utilise their CPF monies in the purchase of a property. Two housing schemes are open to you. Property experts felt that with the number of LGBT and other singles growing in tandem with the rest of the population, it was important that housing policies ensured that this group continued to be catered to. SINGAPORE (EDGEPROP) - Buying a house together is a rite of passage for most Singaporean couples, with the question “BTO?” tantamount to a marriage proposal, if not a prelude to one. HDB loans and CPF grants aren’t applicable, so if you’re taking out a bank loan, you’ll need to front 25% in downpayment from your own pocket. In this case, your only bet for property-buying is a resale EC. Renting was not easy either. We’re on a never ending quest to discover the best urban culture has to offer, often via the less well-trodden and invariably, more exciting paths. User @aborxmal recently wrote on Twitter, “My sister is a full-time tutor and recently a Singaporean Chinese student’s parent complained to the head of the tuition centre that she did not want her child being taught by an Indian. The Housing and Development Board (HDB) used to justify its discriminatory policy towards singles (both gay and straight) by stating that land was scarce in Singapore and there was a high demand for flats. City Nomads is designed for those curious about the world and people who share an appreciation for the good things in life. However, a glut of public housing during the trough phases of economic cycles usually influences the HDB to liberalise their policy towards LGBT Singaporeans and singles, including single mothers[1],[2],[3]. Public housing in Singapore is restricted by official policy, favouring family units including newlyweds. ECs can be resold on the open market after five years, making them a free-for-all – you won’t need to apply under schemes or face income restrictions. In addition, flat ownership by singles was inconsistent with the Government’s conservative social policy of encouraging marriage and the preservation of the traditional family unit. Education Minister Ong Ye Kung has also weighed in on the issue, stressing that there is no discrimination against the LGBTQ community "at work, housing (and) education" in Singapore… The most immediately accessible option, renting a room or entire house is the way to go when you don’t have the deep pockets for an EC. This doubles up as a good gauge for how LGBTQ-friendly your landlord might be – it’s best to sound this out before you sign on the dotted line, after all. A validly married couple may, upon divorcing, apply to the court for ancillary … The change was introduced in response to public feedback to lower the minimum age so that more singles could qualify for public housing. The rules of the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme were further revised and relaxed over the years. For private properties and bank loans, individuals could only borrow up to 75% of the valuation or price (whichever was lower). Housing Options For Those Above 35: HDB BTO Flat Photo courtesy of Muhd Asyraaf on Unsplash. Public housing in Singapore is restricted by official policy, favouring family units including newlyweds. Should you use a bank loan to pay, you’ll need to pay at least 25% of the purchase price as downpayment, in contrast to only 10% downpayment with HDB loans. Singles had to wait till they were 35 years of age to bid for a HDB flat and often encountered difficulties getting their preferred location. The new scheme stipulated that all applicants had to be Singapore citizens and satisfy the minimum age requirements. Participants of Pink Dot, an annual event organized in support of the LGBT community, call for the repeal of Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code, June 29, 2019. The Housing and Development Board (HDB) used to justify its discriminatory policy towards singles (both gay and straight) by stating that land was scarce in Singapore and there was a high demand for flats. One thing you will notice when arriving in Singapore is how much greenery there is. Sensing their dissatisfaction, the HDB changed the rules in 2013 to allow singles aged 35 and above to buy new 2-room or smaller BTO (build to order) flats in non-mature towns as first-time applicants. As you’ve probably heard from straight friends, the downsides are insane balloting stress and a waiting time of three to four years for flat completion. 90% of the flat’s price was covered by a HDB loan, while the remaining 10% using their CPF savings. If they opted to buy a resale flat, they would typically have to pay a higher price than for a BTO flat, plus the property would come with a shorter lease. Here, having only gained independence from the British in 1965 that more singles qualify... Activities while negotiating your tenancy agreement safety and predictability anywhere on the housing price ladder an. You and your partner must not exceed s $ 9,000 during the 12 months your. Dot told Yahoo News Singapore that the livestream had a peak of 6,800 live views during lgbt housing singapore broadcast... Old such as Choa Chu Kang, Woodlands, and with no restriction on flat and... Claim damages for alleged discriminatory conduct in such grants was disbursed to about 11,400 buying... 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