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Asia Calling – Singapore homelessness

From Asia Calling

Singapore is a nation of homeowners, largely thanks to a comprehensive system of government subsidised housing.

The public can either buy public housing flats directly from the government or a resale flat, which is more expensive as prices are adjusted according to market forces.

But a population explosion in the last few years and a widening income gap have resulted in public housing prices skyrocketing, and many low-income earners are unable to either meet the criteria for direct purchase or afford resale.

Even renting at market price is increasingly unaffordable to low-income families.

As Monica Kotwani found out this is leaving more Singaporeans living on the streets.

Night falls and shrouds this small suburban park in Singapore in darkness. Slowly, people arrive and set up their tents for the night. They are homeless, and part of an increasing number of people living in open spaces.

This has been Jennifer and her three children’s home for almost two years. Jennifer is not her real name. It has been changed because she was warned by authorities her case would take longer to be assessed if she spoke to the media.

“We don’t have anywhere to stay and I don’t have the money to rent a place, and I’m not working because I couldn’t find a job.”

Read the full report and the podcast here.

'Sally' featured in Asia Calling's report, was first interviewed in TOC: Do you want me to stay at the beach?