SINGAPORE: National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced on Monday the government's target to have 57,000 rental flats by 2015.
Mr Khaw said this in a written response to Member of Parliament Dr Lee Bee Wah, who asked for an update in the measures taken to reduce the waiting time needed to apply for a flat under the Housing and Development Board's (HDB) Public Rental Scheme.
The minister said that the average waiting time for a flat is about six months, which could stretch longer if applicants request for specific locations or blocks.
He said that the government intends to build more rental flats to reduce the waiting time of applicants, with a target of 57,000 units by 2015.
Singapore now has 49,300 units of 1- and 2-room public rental flats, up from 45,500 two years ago.
Mr Khaw reiterated that even as more rental flats are being built, "we must also ensure that they are safeguarded for the poor and needy. These are the vulnerable citizens with no family support or other housing options."
Mr Khaw said the government is also tackling the problem upstream, by advising Singaporeans not to sell their HDB flats with the expectation that HDB will provide them with a heavily subsidised rental flat.
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