Dear readers,

The General Elections is finally underway.

Here at The Online Citizen, we are committed to bringing you the latest updates and exclusives on the election hustings.

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疫情期间举步维艰 妇女组织吁免贫户房租减负担

早前,国家发展部长兼财政部第二部长黄循财在国会上表示,目前约有5200户租赁组屋租户拖欠租金,但仅拖欠租金,不会导致租约终止。这相当于每10户家庭中,就有一户未能按时缴付租金,四分之三的家庭已欠下不到3千元的租金。 对此,妇女行动及研究协会(AWARE)资深研究员Chong Ning Qian,在《海峡时报》的论坛里针对此事,发表一篇关于低收入户家庭租屋的文章。 她认同不终止租户租约无疑是好消息,至少在疫情期间,他们仍有栖身之地。然而,她也指出有关家庭租金的问题。 Chong 表示,妇女行动及研究协会日前也曾采访过低收入家庭在疫情爆发后所受到的经济状况影响。许多家庭也正因安全距离措施,工作受到影响,其收入也出现损失,其中包括清洁工和服务员。 这无疑透露了他们也正面临支付各项账单,包括房租或其他日用品的困难。 对此,Chong建议建屋发展局应该在疫情期间,免除房租。她也指出,在疫情爆发前,已有逾5千家庭难以支付房租,这也意味着,疫情的侵袭更让他们的处境举步维艰,他们在疫情期间可能面临无法上班。 尽管目前不会立即失去家园,但Chong认为,疫情的爆发带来巨大的影响,未来将会有更多家庭会落入相同的困难。为了继续应付日常开销,他们唯有在其他方面缩衣减食,例如减少食物开支等。 因此,Chong呼吁政府应该在危机当前,对低收入户给予更多的指出,让他们能够在疫情期间得到更多保障。