To help “ease the burden” of those who continue to face challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) will extend the suspension of late payment charges on mortgage and public rental arrears by another three months until 31 December this year, reported Channel News Asia (CNA).
In a Facebook post, National Development Minister Desmond Lee noted that while the city-state’s economy has been picking up gradually since the start of 2021, many Singaporeans are still recovering from the pandemic’s impact.
“The recent social restrictions continue to affect employment and livelihoods in some sectors,” he said as quoted by CNA.
“Some Singaporeans may need more time to get back on their feet.”
The suspension of late payment charges on mortgage and public rental arrears was first suspended in April 2020 for three months, before it was extended by another three months.
HDB extended it again by another six months until March this year and by another six months until 30 September.
The latest extension will give homeowners and public rental tenants until the last day of 2021 to settle their late payment charges.
Lee shared that HDB had extended various financial assistance to more than 7,000 households from April 2020 to August 2021.
During such period, around 5,500 households saw their rent reduced, said Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim.
He pointed that HDB also has other measures aimed at helping households in need of more “targeted assistance” like flat owners with HDB housing loans.
“These include deferred or reduced repayment schemes, or loan tenure extension to reduce the monthly instalments,” said Associate Professor Faishal in a Facebook as quoted by CNA.
HDB can also reduce the rent for public rental tenants whose household income had declined, he said.
Homeowner who are on bank housing loans can “explore targeted assistance and restructuring solutions” with their banks, added Associate Professor Faishal.
Lee advised those in need of further help to find out more on the Housing Board’s website.
“I hope these measures will help to ease your financial difficulties, and give you space and time to stabilise your financial situation,” he said.
Eugenia Liew, Senior Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image source: HDB