In order to help ease the burden of the people of Singapore, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) has decided to further extend the suspension of late payment charges on HDB mortgage arrears till 31 March next year, said National Development Minister Desmond Lee on Thursday (1 October).
In April this year, HDB suspended late payment charges on mortgage arrears for three month, meaning that owners got an extension up to 30 September.
Mr Lee pointed out in a Facebook post that the economic condition is most likely to remain difficult for some time.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a serious impact on our economy, and affected many people’s jobs and livelihoods. The economic situation is likely to remain difficult for some time.
“Because of this, some households are struggling to cope with their housing mortgage repayments,” he said.
He added that between April and August 2020, nearly 2,500 households took up financial assistance offered by HDB. This assistance include deferring their loan instalments or reducing the amount they have to pay in each instalment, Mr Lee noted.
If that’s not all, from Monday (5 October) onwards, individuals on HDB loans can also extend their loan repayment period up to the age 65 if they require long-tern adjustments to their cash flow, he said.
Currently, the loan tenure for new HDB flats is capped at 25 years.
“Those facing difficulties with their arrears should approach HDB to work out their repayment options,” the Minister said.
He added, “We will also do more to help households living in our public rental flats, by providing a 50% rent rebate for 3 months, from 1 Oct 2020 to 31 Dec 2020. HDB will also continue to suspend late payment charges on rent payments until 31 Mar 2021.”
With all the additional measures offered, Mr Lee hopes that it will help and provide assurance to HDB flat owners and tenants during this tough time.
“If you are facing financial difficulties, do contact your local HDB Branch to understand more about the help available
“We will continue to monitor the situation closely and review our measures to support households with financial difficulties,” Mr Lee said.
He also pointed out that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) will “soon” announce support measures for those HDB owners who have bank loans.