Low Thia Khiang urges Govt to “seriously look” into housing options for homeless

How can we aspire to be a First World country with a world class public housing programme if we have homeless citizens camped out in public parks? The HDB’s proposition for those who are unable to purchase a HDB flat or to qualify for a HDB rental flat is to seek help for accommodation from family members. The HDB should know well that with the size of HDB flats, most families do not have a spare room to accommodate another distressed close family member’s family. The end result would be strained relationships between family members which could adversely impact the family structure as a basic unit of our society. Is the creation of more strained family relationships desirable?

This was a cut delivered in Parliament on 5 March 2010 by Workers’ Party Secretary-General Low Thia Khiang during the Committee of Supply debate, on the budget for the Ministry for National Development (MND).

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It was reported by the Straits Times that the number of homeless people has doubled. When I read the report, I was thinking whether this is more a social problem or a housing problem?

My own experience from Meet-the-People sessions is that it may be less a social problem and more of a housing problem. This is because while many of these cases of residents who lost their homes do involve dysfunctional families, quite a number are still financially viable and could afford to stay together as a family if they could afford the rental of a house. Many ended up without a home because of strict HDB rules on rental housing and obtaining HDB subsidised housing loans.

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Sponsor a Child, Change a Life

Dear friends and readers,

I have been a child sponsor with World Vision Singapore for over five years and have personally found it very meaningful. The Child Sponsorship Programme has given me a precious opportunity to invest in the development of a child, his family and his community in a poor country like Vietnam, where my sponsored child lives. It’s a joy to receive regular news about my sponsored child and learn about how he is progressing because of the development work run by World Vision in his community.

World Vision Child Sponsorship addresses the root causes of poverty and points children and families towards fullness of life — physically, emotionally and spiritually.

When you sponsor a child, World Vision helps your sponsored child through implementation of an Area Development Programme in his or her community. This programme ensures that basic infrastructure such as access to nutritious food, clean water, basic healthcare, education, increased food security and household income is available to the child and his community.

If you would like to find out more about how to change a life through World Vision’s Child Sponsorship Programme, click here to visit the World Vision Singapore website, or you could email me at sgpatriot [at] gmail.com or post a comment on this blog.

A simple gesture of compassion can make a huge difference in the lives of these children.

Regards,

Gerald