Among the 16,000 households in arrears in the estates run by the Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), about 63 per cent — or 10,000 — started owing payments only in the past two years, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said yesterday, citing the town council’s latest submitted report dated April last year.

It was also revealed that half of the commercial tenants in the estates were in arrears, compared with the arrears rates of 8.2 per cent for hawkers and 29.4 per cent for households. The ministry said that AHPETC stopped submitting the required monthly S&CC arrears report after April last year. “Since then, the (town council) did not submit the monthly returns … We do not know AHPETC’s current arrears rate,” MND said.

MND requires all town councils to report their S&CC arrears monthly, using a table which breaks down the number and percentage of properties in arrears into three property types — residential, commercial and hawker stalls — and the length of arrears, ranging from one month to more than two years. The table has been in use by all town councils, including Hougang Town Council — which has been run by the Workers’ Party prior to the 2011 General Election — since April 2008.

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