SINGAPORE - Home owners and public rental tenants who are unable to pay their Housing Board mortgage and rental payments on time will have their late payment charges suspended for a further three months till Dec 31 this year.
The charges had been suspended since April last year, and the suspension was due to end on Thursday (Sept 30).
Announcing this in a Facebook post on Thursday, Minister for National Development Desmond Lee noted that Singapore's economy has been picking up gradually since the start of the year.
"But many Singaporeans are still recovering from the impact of Covid-19, and the recent social restrictions continue to affect employment and livelihoods in some sectors," he wrote.
Last Friday, the authorities announced tighter measures on social and workplace activities to stem a growing number of Covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
The HDB first suspended late payment charges on both mortgage and rental arrears for three months in April last year, and then extended it to Sept 30 last year.
The second extension took place last October and ended in March. It was then further extended for six months to Sept 30 this year.
Mr Lee noted that between April last year and August this year, HDB had also extended various financial assistance measures to more than 7,000 households.
"However, some Singaporeans may need more time to get back on their feet. To ease the burden for those who continue to face challenges, we are extending our financial support measures for HDB flat owners and public rental tenants."
For mortgages that are issued by banks, flat owners may also approach them for targeted assistance and restructuring solutions, said Mr Lee.
"I hope these measures will help to ease your financial difficulties, and give you space and time to stabilise your financial situation," he wrote.
The current late payment charge is 7.5 per cent a year based on the outstanding instalment amount at the end of the month.