Wednesday, November 25, 2009

185 evicted for subletting rental flats

THE Housing Board (HDB) has evicted 185 tenants in the past 12 months, after they were found to have illegally sublet their rental flats.

These tenants were living elsewhere while subletting the flats, which is disallowed under the law, said National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan.

'They have abused government subsidy and deprived the truly needy of a rental flat,' he said in a written reply to a question raised in Parliament on Monday.

He was responding to Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Marine Parade GRC) who asked for an update on the number of evictions of rental flat tenants, and if there are plans to review rental rates to take inflation and the higher cost of living into account.

Noting that rental flats are heavily subsidised, Mr Mah said there is no need to revise rental rates as these are already low and affordable - even for those who earn a very low income.

Households with a total monthly income of less than $800 pay only $30 a month for a one-room rental flat. Those with monthly incomes of between $800 and $1,500 pay 30 per cent of the market rate. Rental rates, Mr Mah said, have been frozen at $110 a month for one-room flats since 2005.

For tenants in severe financial difficulty, the HDB will extend more help, for example, by working out an instalment plan, Mr Mah said.

He also gave an update on studio apartments for the elderly, in response to a question from Nominated MP Paulin Tay Straughan. To date, the HDB has launched 17 such developments in both mature and non-mature estates, with near 100 per cent take-up rate.

Source, Straits Times, 25 November 2009

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