Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

HDB to pilot new scheme in converted student hostel allowing low-income singles to rent rooms on their own

SINGAPORE — Rather than sharing a rented unit with a stranger, eligible low-income singles will be able to stay on their own in rooms at the former Anderson Junior College hostel, under a new pilot programme by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) that will start taking applications from end-2023.

A rental unit from HDB's Single Room Shared Facilities pilot programme at the former Anderson Junior College hostel.

A rental unit from HDB's Single Room Shared Facilities pilot programme at the former Anderson Junior College hostel.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

SINGAPORE — Rather than sharing a rented unit with a stranger, eligible low-income singles will be able to stay on their own in rooms at the former Anderson Junior College hostel, under a new pilot programme by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) that will start taking applications from end-2023.

On Monday (March 13), HDB said the new Single Room Shared Facilities initiative will give low-income singles who are without family support and other housing options a choice to stay in their own 9sqm bedroom under the Public Rental Scheme.

This is unlike the Government's Joint Singles Scheme Operator Run pilot first launched in 2021, where a social service agency matches singles with a suitable flatmate and manages flat-sharing arrangements.

The Single Room Shared Facilities initiative would grant greater privacy to tenants, while providing companionship and support, it added.

Each room will be equipped with basic furnishings such as a bed frame, wardrobe, table, wall shelves and a small refrigerator. However, tenants will need to buy their own mattresses for hygiene reasons, HDB said.

Each floor, which will house 24 people, comes with two shared restrooms comprising several toilet and shower cubicles, as well as a dining room and kitchen with five cooking stoves. HDB will also be releasing a tender for an operator to maintain the site and provide activities at a common facility room, among other functions.

For this pilot scheme, the site at the former Anderson Junior College hostel on Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8, which now has 240 shared hostel rooms, will be retrofitted into 480 single rooms.

Only singles who meet the public rental eligibility criteria — being a Singaporean who is single and aged 35 and above, or a Singaporean who is orphaned or widowed and above 21 years old — will be able to apply for the new initiative from end-2023, HDB said.

Speaking to the media after a tour of the hostel, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee noted that the current public rental scheme, which requires singles to share their flat with another stranger, has sometimes resulted in disputes between tenants.

Some also have given feedback that they wanted more privacy, he said during a doorstop interview.

National Development Minister Desmond Lee (second row, right) and Minister of State Faishal Ibrahim (front row, left) visiting the the former Anderson Junior College hostel on March 13, 2023.

Repeating what he said during last month's debate on the Budget, Mr Lee said that the Government's Joint Singles Scheme Operator Run model has been "fairly well-received" and there are plans to double the number of sites to six this year. The new pilot "adds another option", he said.

This new initiative will provide low-income singles with a balance between privacy and social interaction between tenants, he added.

When asked why the units in the pilot scheme resemble a dormitory or a hostel rather than an apartment, Mr Lee said: "We're basically taking a former student hostel. These are double rooms for two people and converted into single rooms."

Mr Lee also said that the pilot will be assessed "in a year or two" to allow the authorities to have a better sense of its suitability, before it potentially becomes part of Singapore's public rental scheme. 

More details about the new pilot, including the rental costs, will be announced later, HDB said.

CLARIFICATION: An earlier version of the article stated there is one shared restroom per floor. HDB has clarified that every floor has two shared restrooms, each with several toilets and bath cubicles.

Related topics

HDB rental flat

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.