The Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) is a housing initiative in Singapore designed to encourage inter generational living by facilitating the purchase of HDB flats by extended families living near each other. This scheme has gained popularity among Singaporeans, offering several benefits for families looking to stay close to their loved ones. However, like any housing scheme, the MGPS also has its drawbacks. This article explores the pros and cons of applying for HDB flats under the MGPS, helping potential applicants make informed decisions.
Fostering Family Bonds
The MGPS encourages multi-generational families to live close to one another, promoting strong family bonds and providing opportunities for family members to support each other emotionally, financially, and with childcare or eldercare responsibilities. This close-knit living arrangement can improve the quality of life for all family members, especially for those who value spending time with their loved ones and participating in each other’s daily lives.
Under the MGPS, applicants receive additional priority in flat allocation, increasing their chances of securing an HDB flat in their desired location. This can be especially beneficial for first-time homebuyers or those who have faced difficulties in securing a flat through other schemes or open market purchases.
Living near family members can lead to shared expenses, such as childcare, groceries, or utilities, helping households to save money. Families may also be able to pool resources for larger purchases or investments, such as home renovations or buying a car. Additionally, having family members nearby can reduce the need for paid care services for children or elderly relatives, further easing the financial burden on households.
Convenience and Support
Proximity to family members can provide convenience and support in daily life, making it easier to share resources, look after young children or elderly relatives, and manage household chores. This arrangement can also offer emotional support during challenging times, such as illness, job loss, or the birth of a new child.
Strengthening Community Ties
By fostering close family connections, the MGPS can help to create a strong sense of community and belonging within neighborhoods. This can lead to increased social interaction, collaboration, and mutual support among neighbors, enhancing the overall living experience for everyone in the community.
The MGPS requires applicants to select a flat in the same town or within 4 km of their parents or married children, which may limit their options in terms of flat types, locations, and price points. Some applicants may find that their preferred flat or location is not available under the scheme, forcing them to compromise on their ideal living arrangements.
The popularity of the MGPS means that there may be strong competition for flats under the scheme, potentially making it difficult for some applicants to secure their desired flats. This competition can lead to bidding wars and increased prices, making it more challenging for families with limited budgets to find suitable homes.
Living close to family members can sometimes lead to a lack of privacy or independence, which may not suit all individuals or families. Some people may prefer to maintain a certain degree of separation from their extended family, allowing them to establish their own routines, boundaries, and relationships. In these cases, the close proximity required by the MGPS may be a drawback rather than a benefit.
Purchasing an HDB flat under the MGPS is a long-term commitment, and changing circumstances, such as family dynamics or job opportunities, may make it challenging to adapt to new living arrangements. For example, a family that grows too large for their flat or faces a change in employment may find it difficult to relocate or find a suitable new home while still adhering to the MGPS requirements. Additionally, family members may face challenges in maintaining close relationships over time, and the benefits of living in close proximity may diminish as family dynamics evolve.
While living close to family can provide many benefits, it can also increase the potential for conflicts and misunderstandings. Different family members may have varying expectations, communication styles, or values, which can lead to disagreements and tensions. For some families, the close proximity required by the MGPS may exacerbate existing conflicts or create new ones, making it difficult for everyone to maintain a harmonious living environment.
The increased demand for flats under the MGPS may contribute to higher prices and a more competitive market, making it harder for families with limited budgets to secure their desired homes. Additionally, the increased demand for flats in certain locations or neighborhoods may lead to a lack of available inventory, further limiting the choices available to applicants.
The Multi-Generation Priority Scheme (MGPS) offers several advantages for Singaporean families looking to live close to their extended family members, including fostering family bonds, providing financial benefits, and offering increased priority in flat allocation. However, the scheme also has its drawbacks, such as limited choices, competition, and potential conflicts among family members.
Before deciding to apply for an HDB flat under the MGPS, potential applicants should carefully consider the pros and cons of the scheme in light of their own unique family dynamics, housing preferences, and financial circumstances. By carefully weighing the benefits and drawbacks of the MGPS, families can make informed decisions about whether this housing scheme is the right choice for their needs and priorities.