Dear Editors,

Regarding housing where the government had advised that they are building more BTO flats so that Singaporeans have a place to call their own. Giving out more grants to help singaporeans. Sadly this is not the case for me a born and breed Singaporean!

I am 34yrs old married and a mother of two kids a girl age 13 (born out of wedlock when I was not married yet) and a son age 4 whose father is my husband. I have never bought a house before and had never taken any concessionary HLE with HDB. However, I still can’t buy a simple 3-rm flat for my kids to call HOME, talk about being a Singaporean in now a modern country!

I got married in 2006 when my daughter was only 4yrs old. As my husband had previously taken HLE twice because on both occasions, he bought 2 flats with his mother he had to buy flats with his mother as his other siblings were married accept his younger sister whom was underage at that time and his father passed away so taking on the role to help his family he bought total of 2 flats (using concessionary HLE) because of this when we go marries, I could not purchase any flat with him unless I take a bank loan and buy resale flats. I am unable to do so as it’s expensive to buy a flat from open market and I need to put a upfront deposit to the bank which I do not have.

My husband at that time in the 1980s and 1990s had no choice but to buy a flat because his father and step-father had passed away and his siblings were young and dependent on him including his mother, his elder siblings at that time were all married and having their own family. Hence, he had to buy a flat with his mum and later downgraded to a smaller flat. Therefore, he bought and took up concessionary HLE from HDB twice. Due to this I am unable to buy a flat with him which is totally unfair rules here because I had never bought a flat before, furthermore the last flat which my husband sold was more than 16years ago and he did not get a single cent from the sale proceeds as his mother took all to settle her debts. And because of this I have no choice but to rent a HDB flat.

Currently am living in a 1-rm rental flat and have been living there for almost 10yrs, previously was not able to get a 2-rm rental flat as I did not have a family nucleus with my husband. With the birth of my son in 2011 I am now on wait list for a 2-rm rental flat which I have been waiting for a year plus and still no 2 rm rental flat for me.

However, I am still saddened by the fact that I am a Singaporean born and breed here but yet I am unable to buy a flat for my children who at times ask me why their friends have bigger house and why is ours so small. I feel depressed that I am unable to buy a simple 3-rm flat for my kids and when I look around at all the BTO flats that are built I begin to wonder if those flats have majority of Singaporeans or PRs living in it? Well I do believe foreign talents are even luckier than me they have a nice place to call their home. With the influx of foreign talents, I believe one day they will take over even our jobs!!!

Living in these rental flats which were built many years probably some 30 to 40 years ago really is not a suitable place for kids to call their home, everything in the houses are peeling off, low ceiling, cramped space, uneven walls, toilet no window so no ventilation and flat infested with bed bugs no matter how much we clean and/or fumigate. And many other pest at times. I have desperately been to HDB seen my MP numerous times but yet I am unable to purchase a new flat. And I gave up as travelling up and down these places and getting the same answer NO.

I used to work as a Customer Relations Officer and grew my CPF to about 55k and now have been unemployed for almost 2yrs as I was previously caring for my young son whom I have since put into childcare and am actively finding for a job where it is so difficult to find one to cater to my timing as I have to fetch my fetch my son from childcare so location and working hours are very important. Even with quite a substantial amount in my CPF I still am unable to purchase a flat and my hopes were dashed even further when I found out that those aged above 55 cannot use their CPF to purchase a flat, my husband is 54yrs old this year.

I don’t know how colorful some people (mainly foreigners) can describe about being a singaporean because for me as a singaporean I am stressed depressed and suffering. I clearly am desperate just to purchase a 3rm flat for my family is that so much to ask for? This is my country but yet I am not living happily & my children are deprived of a home just because of rules & regulations. Why can’t HDB be flexible and bend the rules slightly to suit certain reasonable needs.

I don’t know what else to do and at times I really want to give up. It’s not really that great being a Singaporean afterall!! This is home SURELY!!! I find that hard to believe!!

A.S.S. Contributor

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