Forum: HDB can play bigger role in sheltering the homeless

A shelter for the homeless by New Hope Community Services at 51 Margaret Drive.
A shelter for the homeless by New Hope Community Services at 51 Margaret Drive.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

I applaud the effort to provide temporary accommodation for the homeless (New shelter for the homeless in Margaret Drive, March 21).

The Housing Board should play a more active role in this matter.

As these shelters are of a temporary nature, homeless people would not feel a sense of security and belonging.

If the HDB would allow homeless people to rent a small flat at a preferential rate for the first two years, they would feel a greater sense of belonging, security and responsibility.

Social service organisations can then come in to recommend jobs and retraining, as well as provide daily meals.

If homeless people have the option to live in an HDB rental flat, either jointly or singly, the problem of people sleeping on the streets would be alleviated.

The shelters would be able to revert to their original use, be it a church or a temple. Resources would be efficiently and effectively allocated.

Foo Sing Kheng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2020, with the headline 'HDB can play bigger role in sheltering the homeless'. Print Edition | Subscribe