Thursday, September 18, 2008

2,000 More Rental Flats To Be Built

Source : The Straits Times, Sep 18, 2008

THE Housing Board (HDB) has announced that it will build another 2,000 rental flats, to cater to rising demand from needy families.

As at the end of last month, the HDB was managing about 43,000 one- and two-room rental flats for the Public Rental Scheme. It has set a goal of expanding this to 50,000 in three years.

Speaking at the HDB Annual Report 2007/2008 press conference, the board’s chief executive Tay Kim Poh said rental housing was a key option for genuinely needy families unable to buy a flat.

‘To meet their needs, HDB increased the supply by converting existing flats into rental flats and resuming the building of new rental flats. Almost 1,000 converted units were added to our rental housing stock,’ he said.

Conversion works at another two blocks in Redhill are also under way and, when completed, would add another 350 units of one- and two-room rental flats for allocation from early next year.

Demand for rental flats has been on the rise. In its financial year 2006, the HDB received 5,643 applications to rent flats. The following year, that number rose to 5,970.

Last month, the Government announced it would be introducing new rules on HDB rental flat eligibility in order to stamp out abuse of the system.

The Government is studying issues including checks to see if siblings and children of applicants own private property and requiring flat sellers to deposit part of their sales proceeds into their Central Provident Fund accounts.

The HDB said it would complete the review by year-end, and would release details after that.

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