Sunday 7 July 2013

HDB to study if temporary rental housing scheme for married couples can be adjusted

By Olivia Siong, Channel NewsAsia, 5 Jul 2013

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) said it will assess the need to adjust the temporary rental housing scheme to help even more married couples.

For the 1,150 flats made available under this scheme, it has so far received applications for 554.

The scheme was launched in January to help married couples waiting for their new Build-To-Order flat to be completed.

41-year-old Jeremy Pher used to pay more than S$2,300 to rent a flat in the open market.

With HDB's new Parenthood Provisional Housing Scheme (PPHS), he now pays S$1,200 to rent a four-room flat directly from the HDB.

He is one of about 140 applicants who have moved in, or are in the process of moving in, to temporary rental housing units.

As not all of the units are occupied yet, Mr Pher said there are some perks and drawbacks of a quieter block.

He said: "At the moment yes, there's plenty of car park space for me. I can choose my lot anytime. For me, I don't think there's a big problem because Singapore is safe. Right now I do not have a neighbour opposite me, so I just got to take a little bit more extra precaution in terms of safety that I need to just lock up my door and probably close the main door. "

Other residents Channel NewsAsia spoke to had mixed views.

Flats under the scheme are located in mature estates, like Bedok, Jurong West, Queenstown and Ang Mo Kio.

They have primarily been vacated under the Selective En-Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS).

HDB said with flats located in mature estates with amenities, this should go some way in ensuring safety.

Senior Estate Manager of the Housing Management Group at HDB Justina Tan said: "We are not chasing after numbers. The objective of PPHS is to provide an additional housing option for first-timer married couples who need temporary housing while they're waiting for their new HDB flats to be completed. We are not too worried, or too concerned about the safety issues. We are also working with the relevant authorities to make sure there are safety measures in place."

More applicants will be able to select their flats in July and August.

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