For nearly two years, divorcee Nor and her four children have been staying at her younger sister's two-room rental flat in Whampoa.
The factory worker, who earns about $800 a month after Central Provident Fund (CPF) deductions, declined to have her full name published. Her 32-year-old sister, also a factory worker, is a divorced mother of six who remarried recently.
Their 10 children, aged between seven and 15, sleep in the living room. Madam Nor, 34, who works the night shift, sleeps with the children on her nights off. Two of the older boys declined to be photographed. The only bedroom is used by her sister's new husband.
Madam Nor's application for a subsidised rental flat was rejected because she has around $50,000 in CPF savings and, with a loan, can buy a two-room HDB flat.
But she fears she may lose her job as her factory is set for a change in management early next year, and she says it has already begun retrenching workers.
"What's the point of taking a loan if I can't repay it next year?" she asked. She has appealed to the HDB again for a rental flat.
The board told The Sunday Times it is reviewing her case. "We will consider how best we can help her family, including offering them temporary housing," a spokesman said.
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