In his Parliamentary response to queries about helping Singaporeans who could not afford to pay mortgage payment, first-time Minister of State for National Development Koh Poh Koon advised that Singaporeans who are poor should sell their HDB flat and rent, and that the HDB is not a bank that offers financial assistance.
PAP MP Joan Pereira was asking the government what kind of mortgage assistance HDB provides to the retrenched, particularly those in their late 40s and 50s. Minister Koh Poh Koon responded:
“For those who face longer-term hardship… Right-sizing to a flat within their means is also an option. For low income households who are unable to afford another flat, have no family support and no other housing options, HDB may offer them a public rental flat.
The Housing Board is not a bank and is unable to offer personal loans.”
Minister Koh said those who need help can get financial counselling and referrals to social support agencies for job placements and financial aid.