Home Buying & New Homes

The Ultimate List Of HDB Acronyms For Singapore Homeowners

HDB acronyms ultimate list for Singapore homeowners, Singapore, SG, Style Degree

Singapore uses a massive amount of acronyms. Even the most seasoned of Singaporeans can sometimes end up drowning in an alphabet soup of acronyms. 

If you’re looking to purchase a new BTO, flat or property, look no further as we get down to clarifying terms ranging from housing grants to upgrading schemes! 

To help you navigate the long list of Housing and Development Board (HDB) acronyms that are currently in use, click on any of the links below to skip ahead to a section that you are particularly curious about.

Alternatively, get our FREE downloadable PDF to get the full list of HDB acronyms easily accessible in your electronic devices. Click here to download.

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Download our Ultimate HDB & Property Acronyms List specially created for Singapore homeowners here.

HDB Priority Schemes

HDB Priority Schemes, HDB Acronyms, Style Degree, Singapore, SG, StyleMag

Image source: HDB

1. Parenthood Priority Scheme (PPS)

What is PPS? The PPS helps first-timer married couples with children get their flat more easily by allocating up to 30% of BTO units and 50% of SBF units to applicants under this scheme. 

Who is eligible for PPS? First-timer married couples who are expecting your first Singapore Citizen child or have at least 1 Singapore Citizen child aged 18 years old or below.

Things to take note: A computer ballot is conducted to determine the recipients of the PPS.

2. Third Child Priority Scheme (TCPS)

What is TCPS? A scheme to help families with more than 2 children to secure housing. It allocates up to 5% of BTO or SBF units to you.  

Who is eligible for TCPS? To qualify, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • You and/ or your spouse is a Singapore Citizen.
  • If you are divorced or widowed, you must be a Singapore Citizen to qualify.
  • Your family must consist of at least 3 children (natural offspring from the lawful marriage or legally adopted). For divorcees, you must have the legal custody, care and control of your children.
  • Third child must be a Singapore Citizen born on or after 1 January 1987
  • Other children must be either Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents
  • You have not previously bought a flat under the TCPS

Things to take note: Your application will be included in the first ballot round with other TCPS applicants. If unsuccessful, you will then undergo a second round of balloting with other public applicants. In addition, after key collection, the three children who allowed you to qualify for the scheme must continue to live with you in the new flat.

3. Married Child Priority Scheme (MCPS)

What is MCPS? A scheme to help a married child live with or close to their parents for mutual care and support by giving greater assurance when they apply for a new flat.

Who is eligible for MCPS? Eligibility conditions differ for those who want to live near their parents/married child as opposed to with their parents/married child. 

To live near parents/married child: 

  • At least 1 of your parents (including widowed or divorced parents) / married child must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident.
    • If your child is widowed and has children, he/she can also qualify for MCPS.
    • If your child is divorced but has children under his/her legal custody, care and control, he/she can also qualify for MCPS.
  • You must be applying for a flat in a building project where the nearest block is within 4 km from an HDB flat or a private residential property that your parents/ married child reside in.

Swipe <- or click on image to view gallery

  • If your parents/ married child own more than one property, the property which they reside in will be used for the proximity reference.
  • If your parents/ married child do not own the private residential property, it must be owned by their immediate family members (defined as child or adopted child, parent(s) or parent(s)-in-law, or siblings.

To live with parents/married child: 

  • At least 1 of your parents (including widowed or divorced parents) / married child must be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident.
    • If your child is widowed and has children, he/she can also qualify for MCPS.
    • If your child is divorced but has children under his/her legal custody, care and control, he/she can also qualify for MCPS.
  • Your parents/ married child must be included in your flat application to live together with you.

Things to take note: Fiance/Fiancee applicants may also apply under MCPS.

4. Senior Priority Scheme (SPS)

What is SPS? The SPS helps elderly residents who wish to buy a 2-room Flexi flat to age-in-place in a familiar environment or live near their parents/married child. It allocates at least 40% of 2-room Flexi flats offered during sales launches to elderly applicants. 

Who is eligible for SPS? Those who have an existing flat or owner-occupied private property within 4 kilometres to the flat launch site. Or those who apply for a flat in a building project that is within 4 kilometers of their parents’ or married children’s residence. 

Things to take note: After key collection to the new flat, your parents or married child who helped you to qualify for SPS must still live within 4 kilometres of your new flat.

5. Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS)

What is MGPS? A scheme to increase the chances of a married child and their parents staying in the same precinct. 

Who is eligible for MGPS? Both parties must submit a joint application for 2 flats in the same BTO project where 2-room Flexi or 3-room flats are integrated in the flat mix.

Things to take note: Parents can only apply for 2-room Flexi or 3-room flats. The married child’s household can apply for a 2-room Flexi or larger flat.

6. Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS)

What is PPHS? A scheme that helps to temporarily house families waiting for the completion of their new BTO or SBF flats.

renting HDB or condo while waiting for BTO HDB flat

Also check out on StyleMag: Renting While Waiting For Your BTO: HDB & Private Options

Who is eligible for PPHS? You are eligible if you have booked an uncompleted flat under a HDB sales exercise, and belong to any of the groups below: 

  • Married couples or applicants under the Fiancé/Fiancée Scheme (you will need to submit your marriage certificate within 3 months of taking possession of your PPHS flat)
  • Divorced or widowed parent with children

Check against the other eligibility criteria here.

Things to take note: The maximum number of occupants allowed in a 3-room or 4-room flat is six.

7. Assistance Scheme for Second-Timers (Divorced/Widowed Parents) (ASSIST)

What is ASSIST? A scheme to provide assistance to divorced or widowed individuals with children.

Who is eligible for ASSIST? To be eligible for ASSIST, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • You must have at least 1 child aged 18 years old or below (natural offspring from the lawful marriage or legally adopted)
  • You must not have acquired any interest in an HDB flat or private residential property (except for your matrimonial flat/ property) after the date of divorce/ separation or demise of your spouse.

Things to take note: Flat allocation is up to 5% of BTO 2-room Flexi and 3-room flats in non-mature estates. This quota is shared with a 30% quota that is set aside for second-timers.

Types Of HDB Flat Programmes & Policies

HDB Flat Programmes & Policies, HDB Acronyms, Style Degree, Singapore, SG, StyleMag

Image source: HDB

8. Sale of Balance Flats (SBF)

What is SBF? A housing sales exercise that involves all unsold flats from past BTO launches, remaining flats from Selective En-bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) projects and any flats repurchased by HDB. 

Who is eligible for SBF? You need to qualify for a new flat under one of HDB’s existing eligibility schemes (Public Scheme, Fiance/Fiancee Scheme/Orphans Scheme) and be within the set income ceiling for the flat that you want to apply for ($14,000 for families and $21,000 for extended families).

But if you are a first-timer single applicant, you: 

  • Must be a Singapore citizen
  • Must be at least 35 years of age if you are unmarried or divorced, or 21 and above if you are widowed or an orphan
  • Must meet the EIP and Singapore Permanent Resident quota for the area your flat is in (this is more likely to impact the location of your flat)
  • Must have a monthly household income not exceeding $7,000

Things to take note: Because SBF flats are leftover from projects that are already underway or completed, you’ll be able to move into your flat much faster than through the BTO process.

Also check out on StyleMag: HDB BTO Vs Resale Vs Sales of Balance Flats (SBF) – Which is BEST for you?

9. Build-To-Order (BTO)

What is a BTO? BTOs are HDB flats that only begin construction after 65 to 70 percent of flats have been booked. They are available in 2-room, 3-room, 4-room, 5-room or studio apartments.

BTO Guide HDB Build To Order Flats Style Degree Sg Singapore

For more insight on how to secure a BTO, as well as grants and loans, read our 6-Part Ultimate BTO Guide that walks you through the entire process, from balloting to furnishing!

Who is eligible for a BTO? Couples and singles. 

For couples, ensure:

  • At least one of the applicants is a Singaporean Citizen
  • At least one other applicant is either a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident 
  • At least one of the applicants is 21 years or older 
  • Your monthly household income does not exceed $12,000 for 4-room or bigger flats 
  • You do not own other property (both local or overseas) and you have not disposed of any private property within the last 30 months 
  • You have not bought more than one new HDB/DBSS flat or EC before 
  • You have not received more than one CPF Housing grant thus far 

For singles, ensure: 

  • You are at least 35 years old (exceptions include being widowed with a child or orphaned with unmarried siblings)

Check your eligibility here

Also check out on StyleMag: HDB BTO Flat Selection: 6 Things You Must Consider + Feng Shui Tips

10. Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) Flat

What is DBSS? DBSS flats are new units that are offered for sale under similar eligibility conditions as those of a new HDB flat. What’s different is that you purchase the flat directly from the developer instead of HDB. 

In addition, expect to have a more aesthetically-appealing facade for your buildings, as well as the inclusion of more facilities in the estate, such as barbeque areas and multi-purpose sports areas. Additional perks like balconies, study areas, and full-length windows for natural light within the home are also to be expected. 

Who is eligible for DBSS? To qualify, you must be eligible for either the Public Scheme, Fiance/Fiancee Scheme or the Orphans Scheme. Your monthly household income must also not exceed $14,000, or $21,000 if the purchase is made with extended family. 

Things to take note: If you are a first-timer applicant, you will enjoy privileges and priority in flat allocation over a second-timer applicant. 

11. Executive Condominium (EC) 

What is EC? Executive condominiums are sold as public housing by HDB, but are built by private developers. They typically include all the facilities that come with private condominiums but can go for 25% to 35% cheaper. 

Who is eligible for EC? To qualify, you must be eligible for either the Public Scheme, Fiance/Fiancee Scheme, Orphans Scheme or Joint Singles Scheme. Your monthly household income must also not exceed $16,000.

Things to take note: ECs are a public-private hybrid type of housing. As such, they are public for the first ten years, and will go private thereafter. 

12. Minimum Occupation Period (MOP)

What is MOP? The period of time that you are required to physically occupy your flat before you are allowed to sell it on the open market. These are the MOPs you can expect for the different types of flats: 

  • Purchased from HDB: 5 years
  • DBSS flat purchased from a developer: 5 years 
  • SERS flat: 7 years from the date of selection of the replacement flat, or 5 years from the date of occupation, whichever is earlier
  • Resale flat: 5 years 
  • Flats bought under the Fresh Start Housing Scheme: 20 years

Where to check if I’ve met the MOP? Login to My HDBPage with your SingPass and check if you have met the MOP to sell your flat, under My Flat > Purchased Flat > Flat Details > Minimum Occupation Period (MOP).

Things to take note: The MOP is calculated from the date of key collection. It does not include any period where you don’t occupy the flat (e.g. renting out of the entire flat or infringement of flat lease).

13. Temporary Occupation Permit (TOP)

What is TOP? A permit that allows homeowners to stay in a building temporarily after key requirements are met while waiting for a Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC).

Things to take note: The responsibility to apply for a TOP lies with the developer of the building. In general, an inspection of the premises will need to be carried out, and required documents will have to be submitted by your developer for approval. 

14. Certificate of Statutory Completion (CSC)

What is CSC? A legal document that expressly allows for a building to be occupied. It is a permanent version of the TOP as it must be acquired eventually. 

Things to take note: A CSC typically takes longer to obtain because all of the building requirements must be met and many documents must first go through submission and approval. As a result, the TOP was introduced to allow some areas of the building to be approved for move in first, so long as sanitary and safety specifications are met. 

15. Optional Component Scheme (OCS)

What is OCS? A flexible, opt-in scheme offered to buyers of new BTO flats that gives the added convenience of various amenities and feature installations. These include internal door and sanitary fittings and floor finishes. 

The OCS internal doors and sanitary fittings package is offered at $2620 for 3-room units and $2980 for both 4-room and 5-room units. A flooring package will cost you $3230 for a 3-room unit, $4870 for a 4-room unit and $5940 for a 5-room unit. 

Check out what a HDB home looks like with and without the OCS flooring. 

Swipe <- or click on image to view gallery 

Who is eligible for OCS? Buyers of new flats under BTO projects.

Things to take note: OCS is offered on an opt-in basis and the cost of the packages is added to the overall selling price of the flat.

16. Option To Purchase (OTP)

What is OTP? An OTP agreement is a legal contract signed between a buyer and a seller of a residential property. It gives the buyer the exclusive rights to purchase a property from the seller in the future.

Things to take note: If you decide to back out after signing the agreements, you’ll have to forfeit the Option Fee. But if the seller decides to back out on the OTP instead, he will have to refund the Option Fee to you.

Buying a HDB Resale Flat in Singapore sg, resale flat procedure singapore

Also check out on StyleMag: Buying A HDB Resale Procedure: A Step-by-step Guide

17. Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP)

What is EIP? A racial quota that specifies the maximum number of units in any given HDB block that can be occupied by a certain race. The percentages are roughly 80% for Chinese, 20% for Malays and 10% for others. 

Things to take note: The EIP is strictly enforced and followed and will affect BTO applicants during your flat selection process (e.g. if the racial quota for your race has reached maximum capacity before you get to choose your flat, your flat selection appointment will be voided immediately).

18. Enhancement For Active Seniors Programme (EASE)

What is EASE? A scheme to provide grab bars, ramps, slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles in bathrooms where feasible in HDBs.

EASE Facilities, Sanitary Fittings, HDB Acronyms, Style Degree, Singapore, SG, StyleMag

Image source: HDB

Who is eligible for EASE? Homes with residents aged 65 and older, or between 60 and 64 years that require assistance for one or more of the Activities of Daily Living (ADL). 

Things to take note: Direct application here is required if you wish to get flat improvements without having to wait for HIP. Depending on the flat type, expect to pay between $125 to $312.50 for the full suite of features

Also check out on StyleMag: 10 Home Services Every Singapore Homeowner Should Know

19. Concessionary Season Parking For Motorcycles (CSP)

What is CSP? Provides parking at white motorcycle lots at all HDB car parks and URA car parks, except for those in this list, without any short-term charges

Who is eligible for CSP? Motorcyclists with a HDB season parking subscription.

To be eligible, you must:

  • Be a Singapore Citizen or Singapore Permanent Resident 
  • Be an existing HDB resident 
  • Have a valid HDB season parking for your flat
  • Have a Singapore-registered motorcycle 
  • Have a motorcycle that is owned by you or assigned by your company to you

20. Directory of Renovation Contractors (DRC)

What is DRC? A listing of contractors approved to carry out renovations in HDB flats.

Who is eligible for DRC? Homeowners who are looking to renovate their HDB flat.

Things to take note: Contractors listed in the DRC would have gone through proper training by HDB to offer quality work that doesn’t damage the building structure or neighbouring units.

You can check through the directory here.

21. Family Season Parking (FSP)

What is FSP? Provides half-priced HDB season parking rates at car park lots allocated for season parking holders near a family member’s home. 

Who is eligible for FSP? To be eligible, you must: 

  • Provide proof of your relationship with the family member (e.g. Birth certificate)
  • Provide proof of your family member’s residence if they are not an authorised occupier of their HDB flat or shop (e.g. photocopy of NRIC) 

Things to take note: This scheme is meant for those who want to spend more time with family and is also targeted towards those who often visit family.

Payment Terms & Loan Schemes

Payment Terms & Loan Schemes, HDB, HDB Acronyms, Style Degree, Singapore, SG, StyleMag

22. Housing Loan Eligibility Letter (HLE)

What is HLE? HLE keeps you informed on your eligibility for HDB loans. It updates you on your maximum housing loan amount, maximum monthly instalments, repayment period and interest rate.

Things to take note: The HLE is needed when you book a new flat from HDB, obtain an Option to Purchase from a resale flat seller or apply to take over ownership of a flat. It is valid for 6 months from the date of issue.

Check the status of your HLE application here.

23. Enhanced CPF Housing Grant (EHG)

What is EHG? A newly implemented grant (11 September 2019) offered by HDB that goes up to $80,000, depending on your monthly household income.

Who is eligible for EHG? First-time buyers of a new or resale flat, regardless of flat type and location. However, note that your average gross monthly income for the 12 months before your flat application must not exceed $9000.

The amount of grant money you are eligible to receive is dependent on the average gross monthly household income for the months worked in the 12 months prior to the date of your flat application. The lower your household income, the larger your grant amount.

Enhanced Housing Grant, EHG, HDB Acronyms, Style Degree, Singapore, SG, StyleMag

Image source: HDB

Things to take note: The grant money will be sent directly to your CPF Ordinary Account and you can only use it to offset your HDB flat’s initial purchase, or to reduce the housing loan amount. 

24. Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD)

What is ABSD? A stamp duty paid on your property. It’s taxed on either your property price or valuation, whichever is higher. 

ABSD percentages?

For Singapore Citizens, Nationals and Permanent Residents of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and Nationals of the United States of America:

  • No ABSD on 1st property 
  • 12% on 2nd property
  • 15% on 3rd or subsequent property

For Singapore Permanent Residents: 

  • 5% on 1st property
  • 15% on 2nd or subsequent property

Things to take note: If you are a married couple in Singapore and one of you is a Singaporean, you’ll be able to apply for an ABSD remission. However, this is under the condition that you sell your old house within six months of buying another. 

25. Seller’s Stamp Duty (SSD)

What is SSD? The Seller’s Stamp Duty is payable on all residential properties and residential lands that are acquired on or after 20th Feb 2010 and disposed of within the holding period.

What are the SSD rates? You can refer to the table below to get an idea of the rates applicable to your residential property.

Seller's Stamp Duty, SSD, HDB Acronyms, Style Degree, Singapore, SG, StyleMag

Image source: IRAS

Things to take note: There are several conditions under which one can be exempted from paying the SSD. Refer to the IRAS website for the list of exemptions. 

26. Total Debt Servicing Ratio (TDSR)  

What is TDSR? A framework that ensures homeowners borrow, and banks loan out money, in a responsible manner.

How to calculate TSDR? Divide the borrower’s total monthly debt by gross monthly income, then multiply by 100%. 

27. Staggered Downpayment Scheme (SDS)

What is SDS? Meant for young homeowners who need more time to accumulate money to pay for the downpayment. It provides the option to pay the downpayment in 2 instalments. Once when you sign the Agreement for Lease, and again after key collection

Who is eligible for SDS? When applying with your partner/spouse under the Fiancé/ Finacée Scheme, these are some criteria you must meet:

  • Both parties must be first-timer applicants, or comprise of a first-timer and second-timer applicant
  • Must have booked a new 2-room, 3-room, 4-room, or 5-room uncompleted flat through any of HDB’s sales exercises
  • Application must be submitted in or before the younger applicant’s 30th birthday

28. Home Protection Scheme (HPS)

What is HPS? A CPF Board scheme to help ensure that you do not lose your HDB flat due to unpaid loans in the unfortunate event of death, terminal illness and permanent disability. It provides mortgage-reducing insurance from CPF to protect you and members of your family.

Who is eligible for HPS? Your HPS cover will start when: 

  • You are the legal owner of the flat.
  • You have completed the loan application with HDB or the approved mortgagee and are now legally responsible for the loan.
  • You have made your health declaration which is accepted for HPS coverage.
  • You have paid the first HPS premium.

Things to take note: HPS insures members up to age 65 or until the housing loans are paid up, whichever is earlier. 

29. Fresh Start Housing (FSH)

What is FSH? A scheme which aims to help second-timer families (those who have already enjoyed one housing subsidy previously) with children own a 2-room Flexi BTO or SBF through financial assistance, personal responsibility and social support. 

Who is eligible for FSH? To be eligible, you must:

  • Form a Second-Timer family nucleus. You and your spouse (if applicable) must be aged at least 35 and below 55 years old. You can be married, divorced, or widowed.
  • Have at least 1 Singapore Citizen parent, with at least 1 Singapore Citizen child aged 18 or younger.
  • Have at least 1 applicant (either the applicant or his/ her spouse (if applicable)) in stable employment in the preceding 12 months.

Check against the full list of eligibility requirements here.

Things to take note: At the point of application for a 2-room Flexi flat, your household must not have an average gross monthly household income that exceeds $7000. Your household should also not own other properties overseas or locally, or have disposed of any within the last 30 months. 

30. Temporary Loan Scheme (TLS)

What is TLS? A scheme to help flat buyers who intend to use the sale proceeds from their existing flat to pay for their new flat without taking a long-term mortgage loan. 

Who is eligible for TLS? To qualify, you must have:

  • Booked a new flat and the keys are now ready for collection
  • Submitted an application to sell the existing flat
  • Sufficient CPF/ cash proceeds from the sale of the existing flat to fully redeem the temporary loan

Things to take note: You can apply for a temporary loan to complete the new flat purchase first, while carrying out the sale of your existing flat at the same time. If the temporary loan amount is insufficient to carry out the new flat purchase, you will need to top-up the difference within the stipulated time period to get your keys to the new flat.

31. Cash Over Valuation (COV)

What is COV? A term that is used to describe a buyer overpaying for a HDB resale flat that is above the actual valuation. However, they are rare occurrences these days with the implementation of new policies by HDB over the years. 

Things to take note: COV is influenced by three things: location/accessibility, amenities in the vicinity and the condition/size of the flat. 

HDB Upgrading Projects

HDB Upgrading Projects, HDB Acronyms, Style Degree, Singapore, SG, StyleMag

Image source: HDB

32. Home Improvement Programme (HIP)

What is HIP? An upgrading scheme that provides essential, optional and EASE improvements (e.g. repairing spalling concrete, etc,).

Who is eligible for HIP? Homes built up to 1986 that have not undergone the Main Upgrading Programme (MUP).

Check your eligibility here

Things to take note: Work will only proceed if at least 75% of eligible flat owners support the programme.

33. Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS)

What is SERS? An urban redevelopment strategy for HDB to procure flats before their 99-year lease is up, in order to renew older residential areas. In return, you’ll receive some form of compensation and assistance in relocation.

Who is eligible for SERS? Flats that are around 50 years or older and are located in an area with high value, or that are not very land-efficient. 

Things to take note: Under the scheme, you’ll receive a $30,000 monetary grant to help defray the cost of your replacement flat. In addition, your compensation will be derived with reference to the market valuation of your SERS flat, as well as several factors. They include: 

  • The floor your unit is on
  • Renovation works or installations in your home 
  • Size and type of flat 
  • Length of lease remaining
  • Transaction rates in the area

34. Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS)

What is VERS? A way for homeowners to voluntarily give up their flats for redevelopment.

Who is eligible for VERS? Flats aged 70 and up where residents have voted yes to VERS.

Things to take note: Work will only proceed if at least 75% of eligible flat owners support the programme.

35. Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP)

What is NRP? The NRP tackles resident-proposed improvements to the precinct. It provides upgrades to blocks and precincts, fully-funded by the government (e.g. new letterboxes or fitness corners).

Things to take note: Feedback can be provided through Town Hall meetings, dialogue sessions, block parties, mini-exhibitions and surveys. Work will only proceed if at least 75% of eligible flat owners support the programme. 

36. Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP)

What is LUP? An upgrading scheme to provide new lift shafts and lifts, where feasible.

Who is eligible for LUP? Homes built before 1990 without complete lift access.

Things to take note: Work will only proceed if at least 75% of eligible flat owners support the programme.

In Summary (H2)

For easy reference, here’s a summary of all 36 acronyms and what they mean!

Ultimate List Of HDB Acronyms Infographic, HDB Acronyms, Style Degree, Singapore, SG, StyleMag

We hope this ultimate list of HDB acronyms has allowed you to feel confident enough to use and understand them during your negotiations with HDB, your property agent, or even your significant other! 

Do let us know in the comments down below what acronyms you just learnt more about through this article as well.

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