To get more inclusive provision of public housing for single parents, Member of Parliament Louis Ng has submitted a petition to the government in Parliament. The petition has been signed by several single parents.
Making a passionate plea for single-parent families, the MP said, “As a parent to three young ones, I cannot imagine going through my parenthood journey alone and I can appreciate how difficult it must be for single parents.”
He has called for amending sections 47 and 65 of the Housing and Development Act so that people with legal custody of a child will not be restricted from purchasing a Housing and Development Board (HDB) flat, regardless of their marital status.
A study conducted by Association of Women for Action and Research (Aware) involving 55 single mothers found that 95 per cent of those who sought public housing faced problems. The women were unmarried, divorced, widowed or had spouses in prison.
In the study, Aware made several recommendations to the government including changes like raising the SGD1,500 income cap for rental housing, lifting debarment periods for rental housing and HDB flat purchases and allowing unmarried mothers to be considered as a family nucleus with their child when applying for public housing.
The Ministry of National Development and Ministry of Social and Family Development in a joint statement said, “Singapore’s public housing policies aim to address the needs of Singaporean citizen households without having to undermine self-reliance and family support.”
This also include helping single-parent households to buy a flat “within their means”, or providing rental housing for those with no other housing options or have no family support.