SINGAPORE: Singapore has currently about 1,000 interim rental housing units.
Replying to a question in Parliament, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development, Dr Maliki Osman said the Interim Rental Housing (IRH) came about because there were a number of old HDB blocks which were vacated, pending demolition.
To put them to some interim use, HDB decided to rent them out to families in financial hardship requiring urgent temporary accommodation.
As these flats are three-room or larger, co-sharing helps tenants reduce their rental cost.
"Understandably, a co-sharing arrangement is not preferred. But it is manageable, provided the tenants exercise tolerance, consideration and respect. HDB plays an active role in pairing the families; it will take into account factors such as race, religion and family size. HDB will also proactively get the families to meet up, before they are paired. This should help to improve the chance of successful co-sharing," he said.
Meanwhile Dr Maliki added that the main mode of HDB rental is based on single-family occupancy, in one-room and two-room public rental units.
There are currently about 48,500 such rental units in operation.
Separately, the National Development Ministry has stressed that flat owners subletting their flats must obtain permission from the HDB and fulfil the minimum occupation period.
Replying to questions in Parliament, Dr Maliki Osman said over the last three years, HDB has taken action against 179 flat owners for unauthorised subletting.
Of these, eight flats were owned by Singapore Permanent Residents.
"We conduct half-yearly flat inspections for approved subletting cases to detect any irregularities; for example, the number of sub tenants (and) whether it exceeded the limits permissable," said Dr Maliki.
"We also periodically engage the grassroots organisations' assistance to provide feedback on irregularities. We provide a dedicated hotline for members of the public to provide feedback on unauthorised subletting of these flats. Very often we take action and investigate based on feedback from the residents living within the vicinity," he added.