Arrears: Seizing flats a last resort

Arrears: Seizing flats a last resort
A HDB officer pasting a "Notice to Quit" letter on the door of a rental flat.

THE Housing Board seized 202 flats as compulsory acquisition between January 2012 and December last year.

In some cases, this was because their owners had committed major infringements, such as subletting their flats without official permission.

But with mortgage arrears, the flats are seized only as a last resort when the home owners persistently refuse to deal with their arrears despite the HDB's help, said Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee yesterday.

The HDB would then help them buy a smaller flat or allocate them a rental flat, he added in his reply to Mr Zainal Sapari (Pasir Ris- Punggol GRC).

From 2012 to last year, the HDB has helped 9,752 families manage arrears.

This includes letting them defer their mortgage payments temporarily or pay their arrears in instalments.

"It is only when all these attempts... fail, such as when home owners persistently refuse to resolve their arrears or work towards a sustainable solution, that the HDB has no choice but to exercise compulsory acquisition," said Mr Lee.

This article was first published on Jan 21, 2015.
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