What is Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS)?


The Design, Build and Sell Scheme (DBSS) was originally announced to parliament by the Minister for National Development, Mah Bow Tan, on 7 March 2005. The purpose of the DBSS was to get the private sector involved in public housing. The DBSS allows for flexibility within the existing public-housing programme as the needs of Singaporeans change. This also allows for homeowners with higher disposable incomes to find options within the programme. The scheme also allows the HDB to get away from its role as a builder in order to focus on regulation.

With the DBSS, developers have to place bids for open land tender. They must also be in charge of the complete process of building and selling a flat. To guarantee that the flats will remain affordable, first-time buyers are allowed to apply for a housing grant from the Central Provident Fund (CPF). These grants are typically between S$30,000 to S$40,000. Second-time buyers receive the benefit of not having to pay the resale levy on the sale price of the previous flat. The HDB also offers loans to buyers that are eligible. 

The HDB and Monetary Authority of Singapore impose regulations on private developers of DBSS flats in order to allow them freedom in terms of design. These regulations also ensure that the flats are of a high building quality and are not expensive to keep up.

After the completion of a flat, the HDB requires that the private developer address any repair or maintenance issues for up to one year. However, the maintenance of the grounds becomes the responsibility of the town council. DBSS scheme also allows for a leasehold tenure of 103 years for the private developers that successfully bid on DBSS projects so that flat owners will receive a full 99-year lease.


When the DBSS programme was initially launched private developers were slow to get involved because of the unpredictability of the property market. However, the number of DBSS flats is growing. Since 2005, the DBSS programme has resulted to the launch of 13 different projects.


Recommended Posts: