HDB ($99) eviction of single jobless mother with sick father: Compassionate or heartless?


HDB tells single mother to quit rental flat or pay double rent

I refer to the article “HDB gives single mother with no other housing options to quit rental flat or pay double rent” (The Independent, Mar 23).

Jobless single mother caring for a sick father recovering from a heart attack

It states that “Social activist Gilbert Goh highlighted the plight of a jobless single mother who is also caring for a sick father who is recovering from a heart attack. According to Gilbert, the woman was asked to move out of the rental flat by the Housing & Development Board (HDB) by 30th April, for owing 3-months rent of $99. Gilbert shared two letters from HDB, but did not disclose the identity of the woman in distress.

Owe HDB $99

In the first letter dated 16 March, HDB said that the woman owed them $99 and asked her to settle the arrears by 31 March.
In a second letter dated 2 days later (18 March) and signed by the same Principal Estate Manager of HDB’s, the woman was advised that she was being served a Notice to Quit and that she had to deliver the vacant flat to HDB by 30th April 2017.”

How much help – various assistance schemes?

This case may throw up the following questions:

Did she go to see her MP and what help was given?

I remember in the past HDB annual reports that the HDB provides financial counselling or assistance to HDB households that have difficulty paying. Was this done and what assistance was given to her?

Will any MP ask in Parliament about this case and other cases like this?

To what extent, if any, did MediFund help her sick father who is recovering from a heart attack?

To what extent did MediShield Life help?

To what extent did MediSave help?

To what extent did the Ministry of Education’s (MOE) financial assistance schemes help her child (children)?

To what extent did ComCare help?

To what extent did the Community Development Council’s (CDC) various assistance schemes help?

To what extent did the Social Service Office help?

Compassionate or heartless?

As to “The letter further warned that if she failed to deliver the vacant possession of the premises after the Notice to Quit has expired, she will be liable to pay HDB double rent.

The second letter also had a footnote saying: “All payments including payments made by you in accordance with any payment plan proposed by you and received through other means are accepted on a strictly without prejudice basis and shall be deemed to be payment made towards the payment of double rent and appropriated as such.”” – isn’t it hard enough for a family to be evicted – and we still want to penalise them further with “double rent”?

Leong Sze Hian


About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.