fbpx
(Photo - Terry Xu)

HDB rejections: Single mothers who appealed or applied?

80% of unwed mothers’ HDB requests rejected?

After writing “80% of unwed single mothers have their HDB application rejected?” (theonlinecitizen, May 27) – I saw a very interesting comment on the facebook of The Online Citizen.

"Number of applications is more than 100? May be in the thousands?"

In April this year, Member of Parliament, Louis Ng asked in a parliament as to how many single unwed mothers under the age of 35 have applied together with their children and without other family members to purchase or rent a flat from HDB and how many of such applications have been approved.

The Minister replied,

“From 2014 to 2016, about 100 single unwed parents under the age of 35 appealed to buy a flat with their children and without other family members.

Over the same period, about 300 single unwed parents under the age of 35 appealed to rent a flat from HDB with their children.

For both types of appeals, HDB approved about one-fifth of the cases.

The remainder could continue living with their parents, could afford other housing options or were already co-owners of a flat.”

A commenter, Raja Kannappan who wrote “Does the minister know the meaning of applied and appealed? Does this mean that the number of applications is more than 100? May be in the thousands?”

Appeals vs applications?

In this regard, do the 400 appeals of which 80 per cent were rejected, mean that it is only referring to the unwed mothers who appealed against the rejection of their applications?

If say 40 per cent of those whose applications were rejected actually took the trouble to appeal – does it mean that the number of rejected applications may be about 1,000 (400 divided by 0.4)?

Unwed mothers over 35 not counted?

Since the statistics given are only for unwed mothers below age 35 – if there were say one over 35 applicant for every four under 35 applicants – does it mean that the number of rejected under and over 35 applicants in total, may be about 1,250 (1,000 divided by 0.8)?

Why only talk about under 35?

We should not assume that once a single mother is 35 or older – that she can afford a resale HDB flat, or afford and wait for a HDB BTO 2-room flat that takes an average of about three years to build from the time of successful application (such flats are heavily over subscribed).

Wed single mothers not counted?

If we include wed single mothers – does it mean that the figure may be in the thousands?

What about those who were told “not eligible”?

And if we include those who never even apply because they could see from the HDB web site, or were told that they didn’t meet the eligibility criteria in the first place – could the number be even higher?

Case-by-case & “a pinch of salt”?

Do the above arguably, give a hint to Singaporeans that whenever you are told something along the lines that we will be flexible on a case-by-case basis, without any statistics to back up the “flexible” – you may like to take it with a pinch of salt!