When office administrator Soh Jie Ling divorced her husband nine years ago, she had to move out of her in-laws' Sengkang flat.
She lived with her parents and younger brother for three years, but when they downsized their home, the single mother had to find a new place with her two sons.
She ended up moving into a two-room rental flat in Marine Terrace, sharing a double-decker bed with her children, who were then aged four and six.
Rent was $62 a month, but it later became a struggle when she was diagnosed with Wilson's disease, a genetic disorder in which copper builds up in one's tissues.
Her condition led to liver disease, which meant she could not work full-time at that point and could earn only $800 a month.
"I felt very inferior at the time - I wanted to get my own flat but I could not," said Ms Soh in Mandarin. "I've always believed you can have not enough to eat, but you cannot not have a roof over your head."
Her wish to buy her own flat was finally fulfilled in 2012, when she applied for a three-room Build-To-Order unit in Sengkang with the help of government grants. The home would have cost $190,000, but she received $60,000 in Central Provident Fund housing grants.
She also got $50,000 in housing grants through the Home Ownership Plus Education Scheme, which provides financial aid to low-income families with no more than two children. She and her sons moved into their new Rivervale Crescent home last November.
"It was a huge accomplishment to finally have a permanent home," said Ms Soh, who now takes home $1,700 each month.
Yeo Sam Jo