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.
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.
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.”
The woman would have to be earning less than $800 to qualify for a rental of $33 per month under the HDB’s Public Rental Scheme. She also would not have any other housing options.