HDB refused rental flat to suicidal homeless man who lives in vehicle

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picture credit: discover NYP
 

Transitioning, a support site for retrenched PMETs shared a correspondence between a suicidal, homeless man who had asked HDB for a rental flat. The man had been to IMH but his condition is not serious enough to be admitted in the hospital. He sold his 3-room flat after a divorce and his parents had disowned him.

HDB replied to the man, pointed out that he had sold his flat and asked him to stay with his parents as their are his first line of safety net. The following is the letter in full.


From: XXXXX
To: CHAN_Yirong@hdb.gov.sg
Cc:

Hi HDB,

I have been homeless since the beginning of 2016 and attempted suicide a couple of times but unfortunately I did not die.

Yes my parents do have a four-room flat however they have cut ties with me. My social worker in IMH was shocked when they refuse to come visit me in hospital.  I was hospitalized a couple of times.  Nor did anyone else came.

IMH social workers also find it hard to help me because I do not have serious mental illness

Yes I sold my flat but honestly, who would want to go through divorce just to get that money?  I was devastated when the home I slowly built up from scratch was wrecked. My IT business failed too. I went to pit bottom…

I have tried to enquire if I can purchase a flat but HDB rejected citing I have to form another family nucleus.  I am already devastated from my divorce.  I cannot withstand another heartbreak.  I will confirm jump down from the top of the building.

I am saddened by the facts I have no one to turn to, no family to go to, I am all alone. These few months staying in the vehicle has hit me very hard. I understood what ex convicts undergo when they are released from prison only to be shunned by many including their own family.

Why some chose to return to the prison because they become homeless and returning to prison to them at least they do not need to worry about lodging.  This have worsen my depression and I prayed hoping I do not wake up the next day.

I am appealing to the graciousness of the government to assist me.

Regards

Philip

–HDB’s reply–

HOUSING & DEVELOPMENT BOARD

Your Ref :
Our Ref : E/RHS/16110039
Date : 20 Dec 2016
Tel : 1800 2255432
Fax :
Email : CHAN_Yirong@hdb.gov.sg

Mr XXXXX

Email: @hotmail.com

Dear Mr XXXYour request to rent a flat from HDB

We refer to your request to rent a flat from HDB.

HDB rental flats are heavily subsidised to meet the housing needs of needy citizen families who are unable to afford home ownership flats, have no other housing options and have no family support.  A person with family members who own private properties or own HDB flats with room that may accommodate him, would not qualify for a rental flat. To be fair to these needy applicants, ex-HDB lessees who realized substantial proceeds from the sale of their flat would not be eligible to apply for an HDB rental flat.

We note that your parents own a 4-room flat with room to accommodate you.  We encourage you to stay with them for mutual care and support, since family should be the first line of support for those who are in need. Besides, we also note that you have sold a 3-room flat at XXX on the open market in Jan 2012 and received substantial sales proceeds. Hence, it is regretted that we are unable to accede to your request to rent a flat from HDB.

If you need any clarification, please contact our Branch Service Line on1800-2255432.

Yours sincerely

Chan Yirong (Ms)

Senior Estate Manager

Rental Housing Department

Housing Management Group