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HDB pilots new rental flat scheme that allows singles to apply on their own

SINGAPORE — From Friday (Dec 17), singles looking to apply for public rental flats will no longer have to find a flatmate first.

Under a new pilot for singles, instead of having the Housing and Development Board source for a flatmate, a social service agency will be appointed to match tenants with a suitable flatmate and manage flat-sharing arrangements. 
Under a new pilot for singles, instead of having the Housing and Development Board source for a flatmate, a social service agency will be appointed to match tenants with a suitable flatmate and manage flat-sharing arrangements. 

SINGAPORE — From Friday (Dec 17), singles looking to apply for public rental flats will no longer have to find a flatmate first.

Singles who successfully apply for a flat under this new scheme piloted by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) should be able to move in by the end of January next year, the housing agency said in a media release on Friday. 

Only Singapore citizens aged 35 and above with no family support and no other housing options are eligible for this new pilot, which is the same criteria as the current Joint Singles Scheme. It will also only be open to new applicants. 

Rent will be similar to what tenants pay under the current scheme. 

The Ministry of National Development announced in March this year that the authorities were coming up with this new initiative, because there have been some cases of singles living in an acrimonious environment under the current scheme.

Only two or more singles can apply for a public rental flat together under the present Joint Singles Scheme and individuals who are not able to find a flatmate would typically have to approach the housing agency for help to source for one. 

Under the pilot, instead of having HDB source for a flatmate, a social service agency will be appointed to match singles with a suitable flatmate and manage flat-sharing arrangements. 

HDB said that it has appointed Good News Community Services through an open tender to run the pilot programme for three years at two sites: Block 429A Bedok North Road and Block 999A Buangkok Crescent. 

A few storeys comprising both one-room and two-room flats have been set aside for this pilot in each block. A total of about 270 tenants may be housed at the two blocks.

"The flats will come with partitions installed to provide more privacy for the tenants," HDB said.

"General household furnishings and appliances, such as wardrobes, water heater, washing machine and refrigerator, will also be provided within each flat for tenants’ use." 

It added that the operator will interview prospective tenants to assess their personalities and needs before allocating them their flats. A social worker will pair the tenants based on how alike the tenants are in terms of gender, ethnicity, spoken languages, age, religion, lifestyle habits, employment and daily routines. 

The social worker will also look at the potential benefits that the pairing can bring to each other, such as peer support. 

"As many of these tenants have no family support, they can benefit from the companionship and support offered by their flatmate," HDB said. 

Good News Community Services will also conduct activities for tenants to bond with each other and check in on them regularly. 

It will also step in to mediate if there are any disputes. 

HDB will be calling for another tender in January next year for another site at Bukit Batok.

Related topics

HDB rental flat singles flatmate tenant social service

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