Mr Gerald Giam Yean Song (Aljunied): There are many residents who have approached me to request for assistance in appealing to HDB for subsidised rental housing. Some have had to sell their flats after a divorce, or they have to move out of their current homes due to family issues. Most cannot afford buy flats and face being homeless.
The Minister said previously that the overall stock of rental flats is sufficient to meet demand. Unfortunately, problems remain. First, some residents exceed the Public Rental Scheme income threshold, but do not earn enough to afford rent in the open market. Others may be single unwed parents who do not qualify for the Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS).
Second, applicants who qualify for public rental housing may still have to wait between three and eight months before they can collect their keys. Many need a place to stay urgently as they do not have family or friends who can take them in.
Could the Minister share, since 2020, the number of applications HDB receives for rental flats under the Public Rental Scheme, the Interim Rental Housing Link (IRH) scheme and the PPHS? How many approvals were granted under each scheme and what were the main reasons for approvals or rejections under these schemes?
I urge the HDB to increase the number of flats applied under the IRH scheme. The HDB could offer tiered rental rates that are higher than the Public Rental Scheme rates, but lower than the open market prices. This will help many families and individuals that fail the strict means test of the current rental schemes, but are not earning enough to rent in the open market and need housing urgently to avoid being left homeless.
8 March 2022
Ministry of National Development