Government to hold focus group discussions on Fresh Start Housing Scheme

The scheme aims to help families with young children who once owned subsidised flats but are now living in rental flats.
The scheme aims to help families with young children who once owned subsidised flats but are now living in rental flats. ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - The Government will be holding focus group discussions on a scheme that aims to help public rental flat occupants own a home.

The Fresh Start Housing Scheme, first mentioned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong during his National Day Rally speech in August, will target second-timer families with young children.

The National Development Ministry and the Housing Board will meet with former rental tenants who now own homes, current rental tenants who used to own a home, and social workers and public officers who work with rental tenants.

The first of the three consultations will take place on Saturday (Nov28).

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said in a Facebook post on Friday that Fresh Start has to be more than just another housing scheme.

"Buying a flat is a long-term commitment, and these families may face other challenges," he wrote.

"We are working with our social agencies to help these families. This will be very resource-intensive and families will need to show commitment, eg. to manage their finances, to find regular employment, and to make sure their children stay in school."

Mr Wong added: "If they can commit to this, we can give them more help through a Fresh Start Housing Grant to own a flat again."

In the last three years, 1,700 former rental flat tenants have moved into their own Housing Board flats, while 2,600 tenants are still waiting for their homes to be completed.

More information on the consultations can be found at: http://app.mnd.gov.sg/Highlights/FreshStartHousingScheme/PublicConsultat...

Mr Wong's post, published on Friday afternoon, came with a touching video of a family which lost their home after the father died.