HDB relocates single mom and baby out of ‘horror’ flat

Photos of a rental flat showing a broken door, a broken light switch and hanging exposed wires. Photos: Felicia Ong/Facebook
Photos of a rental flat showing a broken door, a broken light switch and hanging exposed wires. Photos: Felicia Ong/Facebook

The public housing board has apologized for setting up a single mother and her 16-month-old baby in a home that looked beyond repair.

The Housing and Development Board said today that it was shifting Felicia Ong to a new rental flat after she complained publicly about being given a flat that had broken light switches, cracked floor tiles, and an unusable toilet.

“After we learnt about the tenant’s experience, we immediately contacted her and have apologised to her for the distress caused. We have since also arranged a replacement flat for her, and she will be collecting the keys to the flat today,” the board said today.

We are aware of an online post showing a poorly-maintained HDB rental flat allocated to a tenant and would like to…

Posted by Housing & Development Board on Thursday, 15 April 2021

In her now-deleted complaint posted yesterday, Ong attached pictures of grimy wall switches, hanging exposed wires, cracked floor tiles, a broken toilet bowl, broken door, and a light switch that had “not functioning” written on it. She complained that the toilet neither had a lightbulb nor electricity and that it was too small to install heaters or bathe her baby.

Ong, who did not specify the location of the unit, has not responded to Coconuts’ messages seeking comment.

She wrote that she had waited over a year for the flat, which she didn’t expect to look “like a horror movie scene.” Ong said she used all her savings to pay for both rent and the S$438.30 deposit. She lost her job earlier this year and is scheduled for surgery next month.

HDB said that renovation work to make the flat “liveable” should have been done first.

“HDB’s guidelines are that before we issue keys to a rental flat, we will make arrangements to spruce up the flat, so that it is in a liveable condition. Any spoilt items will also be repaired or replaced. In this case, the keys to the rental flat were issued before HDB could arrange for the sprucing up of the flat,” the board wrote.

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