How will the Housing & Development Board (HDB) help if you have difficulties with mortgage payments, especially if you are in your late 40s or 50s and have been retrenched (particularly where the husband and wife both lose their jobs at the same time)?
First HDB will do an assessment if your inability to service the mortgage is going to be a short term inability or a long-term one.
For short-term inability to service mortgage loan
- HDB will provide financial counselling and explore sustainable housing options with you (for example would you sublet you spare bedrooms?).
- Counsellors in HDB will refer you to social support agencies for job placements and financial aid (for example at the Employment & Employability Institute (e2i), Social Service Offices (SSOs), and Family Service Centres (FSCs)).
- HDB may offer you a temporary reduction or deferment of your mortgage installments to help you with your cash flow situation.
For long-term inability to service mortgage loan
- If there are adult working children in your household, HDB will advise you to include your working adult children as joint owners to help with the mortgage installments.
- HDB will advise you to right-size to a flat within their means. In this situation, HDB may offer you another loan and/or interim rental housing to help with their move.
- If you are from low-income households who are unable to afford another flat, have no family support and no other housing options, HDB may offer you a public rental flat.
How will HDB help you if you have taken a mortgage loan from a bank?
- On being alerted by the banks on defaults in mortgage payment by you, HDB will seek help for you from from social support agencies (e.g. by providing recommendations for jobs, or to provide you with temporary financial support through the Social Service Organisations).
- HDB will help you to restructure your mortgage loan.
- HDB will NOT however provide you a personal loan (because HDB is not a bank).
Minister of State for National Decelopment, Dr Koh Poh Koon listed these measures out in Parliament yesterday (link: http://bit.ly/1qvfxto)