Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Tuesday November 5th 2019

Hindu family whose breadwinner has stroke facing HDB eviction on 31st October with default of $5919

Mr Rajah  will be celebrating Deepavali this year with his family of four but not in the usual giety as in previous years.

The family will be watching the mail in the letter box anxiously in the weeks to come as they were served with a eviction notice on 20 September about a month before Deepavali after owing $5919 in total HDB rental (based on current default charges). The late payment fees came up to $324 and occupational charges $397 further adding on to the financial stress for the family.

To make matters worse, the breadwinner contracted stroke recently compounding the financial crisis further.

On a one month’s medical leave from work, the Hindu Singaporean felt that his employment prospects with the bus company will be in serious jeopardy.

“I knew something was wrong when my other side was immobilized and stiff…I have to steer the bus with only one hand and there was a huge jam of cars behind me,” he recounted to us that fateful day when we visited him in the 2-bedroom rental flat sparsely furnished but decent for living.

His wife sat in a corner watching her husband with a worried look as the breadwinner spoke to us.

It is likely that Mr Rajah will be on no-pay medical leave for at least a year before they can review his employment status and rightfully so as he is now considered a health risk to passengers  unless he is certified fit to drive again by a doctor.

“I have no education and there is nothing that I can do except to drive,” he told us in a calm demeanour which astonished us as most people will be feeling anxious when their income source is being cut off. I was told that he shed tears of gratitude when told that someone will visit him to pass a Deepavali angpow to him to celebrate the Hindi festival.

However, Mr Rajah will be facing a bleak future – right now in Singapore, there is no medical insurance which pay out when the insured suffers a medical condition that jeopardises the income source of a breadwinner.

Unemployment income is also frowned upon by the authorities here as everyone is expected to try their best to earn an income based on their capabilities and resources.

Of course, there is still Comcare welfare and the various charity sources that the family could count on but how much and how long can the family goes on depending on charity in order to survive?

The many months of unpaid rental shows that the family has being struggling with the salary paid as a bus driver and the recent medical mishap will further compound the problem.

I kept reassuring the family that HDB will not be so heartless as to evict a family from their rental home – what more a family that is besieged by unfortunate circumstances.

However, someone corrected me that HDB will evict occupants out of even rental flat if the arrears become too chronic.

Records show that Mr Rajah has not being paying his $500/month rental for close to a year and the default has climbed to a astronomical amount.

A check with the latest HDB rental bill on AXS online shows that the default has climbed to $5917:-

HDB has tiered rental for poor families based on a per-capita-income basis but $500/month is simply bordering on the high side of the rental equation. Most rental for 2-bedroom units figure between $200 to $300 so $500 hovers on the extreme high end.

With such high rental payable, it may be better for the family to apply for their own flat and moreover the painful part of HDB rental is that it has to be paid entirely in cash – no CPF can be used to pay for rental units further eating into the cash-stripped component of the family.

It is not difficult to understand why the family has difficulty paying the $500/month rental as there are two teenagers living in the same household and expenditure is high with most of the expenses going to food and transportation.

As the family celebrates Deepavali today, there will always be this $5919 rental deficit noose that will hang round their neck and the fateful day will arrive when HDB acts on the eviction notice and send the family packing out to the street.

The date for eviction issued by the HDB letter is stated as 31st October.

I told the family that it will be tough to ask a single individual to pay for such a high rental default but it can still be done if we have enough Good Samaritans coming forward.

Let us all try to help the Hindu family to have a home to live in…

Written by: Gilbert Goh

Editor’s note: We have attached the rental bill from HDB below and hopefully collectively we can help the family out of their distress. Let me know if you can help to offset the HDB bill in any amount you can afford.

Alternatively, you can follow the HDB account number and pay directly through the AXS machine or online. Any amount is appreciated and will help the Hindu family to continue staying in the house and not left on the street.

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