Difficult for returning S'porean to get HDB flat

When I decided to come home to Singapore after 26 years abroad, I began my search for long-term accommodation for my husband and me.

Years ago, when I tried to apply for a HDB flat, I was made to understand by a HDB officer that I did not qualify because there was no record of my marriage to my husband (who is a non-citizen) in Singapore. Hence, we put off trying to buy an HDB flat.

Friends suggested that if HDB deems me a single, I should buy a resale flat as a single.

But, the HDB now says I am definitely "married".

While it does allow joint applications with a non-citizen spouse, it is only for a two-room flat.

However, I am told that my husband has to sell his overseas property.

But if we do that, where is our teenage son, who could not come back to Singapore because he was not granted citizenship, going to live?

The only possible solution seems to be to divorce my husband - that is, to regain my single status - just so that I can buy a resale flat, after which I can settle to find work here.

With so many foreigners in Singapore, I am sure I am not the only one in this predicament.

Lee Siew Peng (Dr)