HDB apologises for allocating single mum ‘poorly maintained’ rental flat

Victor Kang19 Apr 2021

[Update]: On a Facebook post on 17 April, Felicia had shared that HDB has allocated a new rental flat for her and her baby and also apologised for the debacle. Photo: facebook.com/felicia ong

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has apologised to a single mother for allocating her a poorly maintained public rental flat, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).

“We are aware of an online post showing a poorly maintained HDB rental flat allocated to a rental tenant,” HDB said on Facebook as quoted by CNA. The Housing Board revealed that it has apologised to the tenant and had already arranged a replacement flat for her.

Felicia Ong, who waited one-and-a-half years for the rental flat, had shared photos of the dilapidated flat on Facebook, saying it was “like a horror movie scene”.

Suggested read: Guide to Upgrading from an HDB Rental Flat to Owning an HDB Flat

In her post, which has since gone viral, she said wires were dangling from the ceiling, window grilles were broken and rusty, floor tiles were cracked, and the toilet bowl and toilet door were broken.

The toilet had no space to bathe her 16-month old child or install a water heater, she said. The flat also had no electricity supply, while the toilet had no lightbulb.

“Am I supposed to do renovations myself? Isn’t it HDB job to make sure that (the flat is in) a live-in condition before you rent it out to us?” said Ong.

She noted that all her savings had been used to pay for the flat’s rent and deposit of $438.30. Moreover, she lost her job in January and is set to undergo surgery next month.

Ong wrote that she needs a “safe home” for her and her child.

HDB, on the other hand, explained that public rental flats are usually “spruced up” to ensure they are in a liveable condition prior to issuing the keys.

“Any spoilt items will also be repaired or replaced. In this case, the keys to the rental flat were issued before HDB could arrange for the sprucing up of the flat,” it said as quoted by CNA.

“After we learnt about the tenant’s experience, we immediately contacted her and have apologised to her for the distress caused.”

HDB added that Ong collected the keys to a replacement flat last Friday.

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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this story, email: victorkang@propertyguru.com.sg


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