The letter below was submitted by G.Goh, 31, executive.
Dear FiveStars Editor,
My father suffered from a major work accident in 1991, which left him paralysed from the waist down. He was only 38 years old then. My mother had to think of ways to earn money for the household. At that time, my sister and I were still in school – Primary 5 and Secondary 2.
My mom and dad sold the apartment to get some surplus income to support the family. Both my sister and I started working at a young age, such that we can help my mother with the expenses in the house.
When we were of eligible age, we started to pay for the house’s monthly payment through our cpf. My mom used my name to get an apartment for all of us. My sister helped to pay for 4 years before she moved on to start her own family. From then, I have been the one paying for the house using my CPF. It has been more than 10 years.
I got married in 2006 but I was not able to get a flat of my own as my name is tied to the house.
Selling the house was not an option – I needed to support my parents and let them have a roof over their head. My father is wheelchair-bound after the accident and the least I want my parents to worry about is not having a place to live in.
As I was unable to get a flat of my own due to HDB’s regulations, I had to shuttle between my own house and my then in-laws place. At times, my ex-husband and I have to live away from each other.
Every couple would love to have their own nest to build a family of their own, and that included me.
Unfortunately, the shuttling around and living away from each other had caused such strain to the marriage. And because I am not able to get a HDB flat of my own, problem often arises when my ex-husband proposed that I remove my name from the current flat: How could I do that? My parents would have no money to pay me back and we have to use cash to pay off the housing loan every month.
I understand how badly my ex-husband wanted to start a family and have a flat of our own but unfortunately, this could not be done due to the strict regulations of HDB. If we had enough money to get a private property, we would have done so long ago. Due to frequent arguments and conflicts about the house, we ended up in a divorce in 2011.
Now that I am looking at starting a new family of my own with my current partner, the same problem still exists – I still am not able to apply for a HDB apartment. The same problem exists: my name is tied to the house my parents live in.
The government is encouraging couples to look at family planning and I strongly agree with that. I am now planning to get married again but the fear of not able to have a flat of my own started to resurface. I am wondering if genuine cases such as mine in this case, will be taken into consideration in getting another HDB under my name.
It is frustrating. Our purpose of buying the HDB apartments is honestly not for the purpose of investment.