Shophouse is the only home she has

Shophouse is the only home she has
Madam Chong Siak Fong had planned to live out the rest of her days in the shophouse.

Tailor Chong Siak Fong, who lives and works in a shophouse in Tanglin Halt, could face a housing headache in 2021. Her shophouse is one of 54 shops and eating houses in the area that will be relocated under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (Sers).

The Straits Times understands that unlike most other tenants in the area, Madam Chong, 68, does not own a home elsewhere. She lives in a three-room flat above the shophouse at Block 46-2 which her late parents had owned since the 1960s.

Since her mother's death in 2002, Madam Chong has been renting the place from the HDB and pays $2,000 a month today. "I didn't want to give up my parents' shop," she said.

Shops in Tanglin Halt are let out on three-year leases.

An HDB spokesman said Sers shophouse tenants can apply for a new flat under the Build-To-Order or Sale of Balance Flats exercises. She added that the board will look into cases with "unique circumstances which require more help" and consider the best way to help them with their next housing.

While Madam Chong has the option of living with her eight children, she said she would rather be independent and live out the rest of her days in the shophouse.

"I had planned to retire and die here just like (my parents) did. But if (I have) to move... what can I do?"

This article was first published on August 12, 2014.
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