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Rental flats for needy to be allocated from this month

A TOTAL of 2,194 rental flats will be added to the public housing supply by early 2010 to help the needy, in a move first announced in November 2006.

The first batch of newly converted flats – consisting of 180 one and two-room units at Block 852, Woodlands Street 83 – will be allocated from this month. One-room flats generally go for about $30 a month and two-room flats for $50-60.

In March, 748 units will be made available when the Housing and Development Board (HDB) completes the conversion of vacant blocks at Boon Lay. In addition, 290 converted units at Redhill will be added to the supply early next year. HDB is also building 976 new rental flats at Choa Chu Kang, Sembawang and Yishun. This last batch will be ready by early 2010.

National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said the flats will help ease the burden of those who are really needy. ‘This additional supply will help meet demand from lower-income Singaporeans who cannot afford or are not yet ready to buy their own flats,’ he said.

While demand seems to be increasing, Mr Mah attributed this to rental flats being an attractive option, rather than more people suffering financial hardship.

‘There is always strong demand for rental flats as they are heavily subsidised,’ he said. ‘Those who are financially capable of owning a flat or renting accommodation from the open market, and those who have family who can support them, should not deprive the more needy of subsidised rental housing.’

From this month, HDB will suspend the allocation of rental flats under the Daily Selection Scheme.

Rental flats will continue to be allocated through monthly selection exercises.


Source: Business Times 3 Jan 08


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