Is it true that netizen "Irfan" was misinformed on his ability to rent an HDB public rental flat?

Posted on 27 Apr 2014 |

A recent online post by “Muhammud Irfan” alleged that HDB officers had advised him to cancel his Build-to-Order (BTO) flat booking in order to secure a public rental flat, only to be informed later that he was not eligible for one. He also inferred that HDB’s actions and its ignorance of his circumstances had left him and his family homeless.

HDB is aware of “Irfan’s” application, and wish to highlight that the ‘facts’ in “Irfan’s” posting are incomplete and incorrect.

The actual circumstances are as follows:

  • In actual fact, “Irfan” had sold his 3-room flat in May 2012, and he had informed HDB that he would be buying a 4-room resale flat. At the point of selling his flat, “Irfan” was not in financial hardship. After selling the flat, “Irfan” and his wife received cash proceeds of more than $120,000, and a CPF refund of about $160,000. The total sum of $280,000 would have been sufficient for them to purchase a flat from the open market. They subsequently booked a BTO flat in 2013.

  • Contrary to “Irfan’s” claims, HDB officers had, at no point in time, advised him to cancel his BTO flat booking. HDB officers had explained to “Irfan” that he was not eligible to apply for a public rental flat on numerous occasions, as he and his wife had sufficient savings to purchase an HDB flat. HDB officers had also urged “Irfan” and his wife to continue with their flat booking.

  • Throughout the entire process, HDB continued to keep his BTO flat application active, and invited “Irfan” on three separate occasions to complete his flat booking. However, he failed to do so. It was only on “Irfan’s” insistence that HDB cancelled his booking in January 2014.

A rental flat would not be the best solution for “Irfan”, as he has the means to purchase a flat for his family and himself. It would also not be fair to those who truly need such highly subsidised rental flats.

Nonetheless, we note that "Irfan" has now claimed that he has a serious medical condition. If his circumstances have changed, HDB is prepared to look into his case again.