Other cases of cash proceeds being used up


She struggled to pay the mortgage on her three-room HDB flat and ended up selling it. Her husband was in jail and her adult children had debts to clear.

The mother of five could have used the $172,000 cash proceeds from the sale of their flat, after returns into her Central Provident Fund, to apply for a studio apartment or rent a room from the open market. Instead, she spent the money on daily expenses and to help her children pay off their debts.

A social worker from Thye Hua Kwan Family Service Centre at Tanjong Pagar said the woman and her family had lived in an Interim Rental Housing flat in 2011 and 2012.

They were evicted after they could not pay the monthly $1,500 rent. She went on to stay with her eldest daughter. Five adults and four children were crammed into a one-room rental flat.

Says the social worker: "Her children also face similar financial difficulties. They give (money) whenever they can, but it's not too stable, so she can't plan to set aside money for a mortgage or rent."


In another case, a couple sold their four-room HDB flat after the husband's business failed.

They used part of the $150,000 cash proceeds to pay the bank and creditors.

The remainder?

"Unfortunately, instead of exercising prudence, they first rented a private apartment for $3,000 a month, and went on trips to the US and China," recounts church welfare worker Jonathan Soh.

He adds: "In under 18 months, they had no money left. They were homeless too because their disapproving parents refused to help, and the couple ended up approaching the church for an interim shelter."

The man is now employed as a caretaker for the church and their accommodation needs are taken care of.

Mr Soh adds: "But we are also finding other means for them to get help from the government agencies."