HDB flat owners in financial trouble may get mortgage help

FLAT owners with financial difficulties may be offered a temporary reduction or deferment of their mortgage instalments.

The Minister of State for National Development Koh Poh Koon told Parliament yesterday that the Housing Board has various measures to help such families.

These include financial counselling and referrals to social support agencies for job placements and financial aid.

Dr Koh was responding to Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC), who had asked what kind of mortgage assistance HDB provides to the retrenched, particularly those in their late 40s and 50s.

He said: "For those who face longer-term hardship, HDB will advise them on measures such as including their working adult children as joint owners to help with the mortgage payments."

Right-sizing to a flat within their means is also an option, he added.

"For low-income households who are unable to afford another flat, have no family support and no other housing options, HDB may offer them a public rental flat."

When asked if the HDB would consider providing financial help to flat owners who have already taken loans from banks, Dr Koh said the HDB is not a bank and is unable to offer personal loans.

However, he added that the HDB can assist these flat owners in restructuring their finances.

Responding to a question from Pritam Singh (Aljunied GRC), Senior Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee told Parliament that the three town councils with the largest number of flats eligible for the Home Improvement Programme are Aljunied-Hougang, Jurong-Clementi and Nee Soon.

Flats built up to 1986 and which have not undergone the Main Upgrading Programme are eligible for the Home Improvement Programme.

Mr Lee said HDB is working to complete the selection of the remaining eligible flats by the 2018 financial year.


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