New rental scheme launched to offer social support for low-income families with children

Eligible families that submit an application for a rental flat to HDB will now automatically be included within ComLink.

Farhana Subuhan

Published: 18 November 2022, 10:27 PM

A new rental scheme to help families living in rental homes with children was launched on Friday (Nov 18) by Minister-in-charge of Social Services Integration and Minister for National Development Desmond Lee at a Forward SG engagement session.

Eligible families will now be automatically included within Community Link (ComLink) when they submit an application for a rental flat to the Housing Development Board (HDB).

Established in 2019, ComLink provides targeted community-based programmes and support to families with children who stay in rental housing.

The ComLink Rental Scheme aims to integrate rental housing assistance with holistic ComLink support, offering rental flat families with children social support to achieve stability, self-reliance and social mobility.

A ComLink officer will then contact the family to understand their situation and share with them the various ways ComLink could render assistance before they move into their rental flats.

In addition, Mr Lee said the officer will also continue to journey with the family and regularly check in on their well-being. They will help coordinate support from Social Service Offices (SSOs) and other community partners to provide greater assurance for the family in attaining their goals.

Over 200 participants were involved in the SG Cares Community Network Session held at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West. They raised concerns and discussed the rising cost of living, child and infant care and caring for elderly parents who live independently in rental homes.

The Network Session was conducted with community partners, volunteers, ComLink Alliance members from Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang and Choa Chu Kang, ComLink families, and members of the public.

Some of the sentiments raised by participants were centered around insufficient aids for single parents who struggle with anxiety and depression. In general, participants agreed that more can be done to aid these parents who are in these predicaments.

Other issues that were discussed during the session revolved around the severe space constraints in rental homes that prevent the elderly with mobility issues from using a wheelchair.

Mr Lee said that as of Oct 2022, the Government has reached out to 11,000 families under ComLink to understand their concerns and aspirations. ComLink has also secured about $2.7 million in donations for its programmes.

He reiterated that strong and supportive families are “the bedrock of resilient societies and are the heart of our social impact”.

“We need to continue to empower our families, to remain resilient in the face of adversity,” he added.

For more content about Forward SG and how youths can participate, click here.

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