HDB apologises for allocating 'poorly maintained' rental flat to single mother

HDB apologises for allocating 'poorly maintained' rental flat to single mother

hdb rental flat felicia ong
HDB has apologised for allocating a poorly maintained public rental flat to a single mother after her Facebook post with photos of the dilapidated flat went viral. (Photo: Facebook/Felicia Ong)

SINGAPORE: The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has apologised for allocating a poorly maintained public rental flat to a single mother after her Facebook post with photos of the dilapidated flat went viral.

“We are aware of an online post showing a poorly maintained HDB rental flat allocated to a rental tenant,” HDB said on Facebook on Friday (Apr 16). 

The Housing Board said it has apologised to the tenant and arranged for her to move into a replacement flat.

In her post on Thursday, Ms Felicia Ong recounted her shock at the state of the flat. The flat looked "like a horror movie scene", she wrote.

Felicia Ong HDB rental flat
Tiles in the HDB rental flat were cracked and popping up, said Ms Felicia Ong on Apr 15, 2021. (Photo: Facebook/Felicia Ong)

Felicia Ong HDB rental flat
Ms Ong said she waited one-and-a-half years for the rental flat. (Photo: Facebook/Felicia Ong)

Wires were dangling from the ceiling, floor tiles were cracked, window grilles were broken and rusty, and the toilet door and toilet bowl were broken, she said.

Ms Ong also posted a photo of a light switch, which had “not functioning” scrawled across it in Chinese. The flat had no electricity supply and the toilet did not have a lightbulb. There was no space to install a water heater or to bathe her 16-month-old child in the toilet, she said.

hdb rental flat felicia ong toilet
The toilet door and toilet bowl were broken and cracked, said Ms Ong. (Photos: Facebook/Felicia Ong)

“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?” Ms Ong said.

Ms Ong said she waited one-and-a-half years for a rental flat to be allocated to her, and used all her savings to pay the rent and deposit of S$438.30. She also said she lost her job in January and has to undergo surgery next month.

READ: HDB to set up dedicated team to help rental households progress to home ownership

HDB said in its Facebook post that Ms Ong will collect the keys to a replacement flat on Friday. The board also said it will help her to move into the replacement flat.

The Housing Board would usually "spruce up" public rental flats to ensure they are in a liveable condition before issuing the keys, it said. 

"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.

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

Ms Ong, who has since taken down her Facebook post, wrote that she needs a rental flat that is suitable for her and her child. “We need a safe home,” she said.

Source: CNA/vc(cy)

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