HDB to streamline assessments for flat purchases, grants and loans into a single application

Those applying for a flat during HDB sales launches from May 9 will need to have an HDB Flat Eligibility letter.

Farhana Subuhan

A punctuation enthusiast who thinks misplaced apostrophes are a crime.

Published: 2 May 2023, 6:38 PM

To simplify the process of buying a flat, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) will be integrating various eligibility assessments, housing grants, and loans into a single application through its Flat Portal.

In a press release on Friday (Apr 28), HDB said that the new HDB Flat Eligibility (HFE) letter will replace the current HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) letter from May 9.

The HFE letter will inform flat buyers of their eligibility for a new or resale flat purchase, CPF housing grants and HDB housing loan, including the respective grant and loan amounts.

The move is set to enable flat buyers to make informed decisions on their housing budget and financing options upfront.

Currently, HDB assesses flat buyers’ eligibility for flat purchase, CPF housing grants and HDB housing loans at different stages of their home buying journey.

At each stage, flat buyers are required to provide relevant supporting documents to HDB for verification. However, the applicants’ housing grant eligibility is not confirmed up to the point when they apply for a new flat or secure the purchase of a resale flat.

HDB noted that this may lead to “some uncertainty among flat buyers on their housing budget.”

From May 9, flat buyers who apply for a flat during a sales launch or open booking of flats must have a valid HFE letter. Applicants must also have the letter when they obtain an Option to Purchase (OTP) from a flat seller or when submitting a resale application to HDB.

Flat buyers can expect to receive the HFE letter within 21 working days of completing the application. The letter will inform them of their eligibility to purchase a new and/or resale flat and will also indicate the amount of CPF housing grants and HDB housing loan that they are eligible for.

The HFE letter will be valid for six months from the date of issue.

From the August sales exercise onwards, all applicants must have a valid HFE letter before submitting a new flat application. Flat buyers who have already applied for a flat before May 9 will not require a HFE letter.

HDB is also set to roll out several improvements to its HDB Flat Portal as part of its efforts to streamline the home-buying journey.

Currently, new flat buyers will have to access My HDBPage to view their flat application details and upcoming appointments with HDB.

Flat buyers who have obtained a HFE letter and intend to buy a flat from HDB will continue to be guided on their home buying journey through the HDB Flat Portal and will also receive personalised information on their flat application which will aid them in planning and preparing ahead at different stages of their flat purchase journey.

Another feature will be the enhanced integrated loan application service provided within the HDB Flat Portal, where flat buyers will be able to request an In-Principle Approval (IPA) and Letter of Offer (LO) from participating Financial Institutions (FI)s.

Flat buyers can concurrently request an IPA from the participating FIs to find out their eligibility for a housing loan when they apply for an HFE letter. They can also request for a LO from their chosen FIs through the HDB Flat Portal.

The HDB Resale Portal will also be integrated into the HDB Flat Portal for greater convenience. Resale flat sellers and buyers will transact via the HDB Flat Portal and receive guidance on their journey to complete the transaction seamlessly.

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