Fewer homeless families now: MSF

Fewer homeless families are being picked up by the authorities. Last year, 93 families were admitted to shelters, compared with 144 in 2013.

In contrast, 71 homeless individuals moved into transitional shelters, compared with 49 in 2013. Another 105 were sent to welfare homes last year.

The Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) said there are fewer homeless families now, as efforts have been made in recent years to ensure those in financial and housing difficulties are referred early to family service centres (FSCs) for help.

Associate Professor Irene Ng, from the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) social work department, said households have also benefited from adjustments to housing policy.

“In the past, the problem of homeless families was partly due to some overstretching themselves to own a flat and having to sell it when in financial difficulty,” said Prof Ng.

“This issue is being addressed with refinements in HDB criteria as well as the development of interim rental housing for families.”

NUS sociologist Tan Ern Ser agreed that families have more housing options now.

“Perhaps family units are more likely to be given priority with rental housing,” he said.

“Also, they may be less choosy when offered shelter or interim housing, as this would be in the best interest of young children.”

There are three government- funded shelters that allow people to stay for up to six months for as low as $50 a month.

Places in these shelters – which can accommodate about 150 families – are reserved for those who have exhausted all means of accommodation and need immediate housing assistance, said MSF.

Those who do not qualify or cannot wait for a place in a shelter can apply for the Housing Board’s interim rental scheme, which costs about a few hundred dollars a month for a room. They can also try to rent on the open market.

Homeless individuals tend to be older, have health conditions and lack any means of supporting themselves or their families.

They are often admitted to welfare homes, said MSF.

To help homeless people, the Government works with social service and community agencies to address underlying issues, providing employment assistance, counselling or childcare referrals.

MSF said it works closely with FSCs and HDB branches in each town to identify and support those at risk.

Its spokesman said: “As we strive to provide support to the needy in our community, we are also mindful that some prefer to be self-reliant and decline assistance.”

A Quick Summary – Budget 2016

Click picture to enlarge

GST Voucher — Cash Payments for 2016

Earlier this week, Singapore’s finance minister Mr Heng Swee Keat carried the traditional black briefcase and stepped up to the parliament podium today to make his first ever budget speech. His budget that puts forward government financial policy between 1st April 2016 – March 31st 2017 was strongly focused on the economy. Here’s a quick summary of what he put forth:

FOR HOUSEHOLDS IN GENERAL

  • GST VOUCHERS OF $250/$500 will be issued for all Singaporeans aged 21 and above . If you Annual Value of Home falls below $13,000 congratulations you’ll be getting $500 this year, otherwise you’ll be getting $250.
  • HDB SERVICE AND CONSERVANCY CHARGES REBATES OF BETWEEN 1 – 3 MONTHS will be made available to all HDB households.
  • PERSONAL INCOME TAX RELIEVED WILL BE CAPPED at $80,000 per year starting from YA2018.

 

FOR FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN

  • A NEW CDA ACCOUNT CALLED THE FIRST STEP ACCOUNT was announced, parents of children born from 24th March onwards will receive $3,000 in their CDA. Dollar for dollar matching from the government up to co-savings cap will remain.
  • CLAIMABLE MEDISAVE FOR PRE-DELIVERY MEDICAL EXPENSES WILL DOUBLE
  • A NEW PILOT INITIATIVE CALLED KIDSTART will draw government and community resources to help needy children under the ages of 6 to receive support
  • A FRESH START HOUSING SCHEME WILL PROVIDE RENTAL HOUSING ASSISTANCE for families with children, to qualify, parents must stay employed and ensure that their young kids keep going to school.
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE EDUCATION will be expanded for all students through a new master plan, with a new outward bound campus to be built on Coney island, set to launch by 2020.

 

ON EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYABILITY

  • SKILLSFUTURE WHICH IS A PART OF THE GOVERNMENTS LONG TERM GAME PLAN will now include SkillsFuture Study Awards to develop specialist skills in 12 sectors for early to mid-career Singaporeans regardless of qualifications
  • WAGE SUPPORT SCHEMES WILL BE IMPLEMENTED to help those who face greater difficulty in finding jobs
    • A TECH SKILLS ACCELERATOR WILL BE SET UP TO Identify specific skills in demand in the ICT sector and assist Singaporeans to develop skill standards and certification in this field. They will also work with anchor employers who have agreed to hire based on skills not certification

FOR LOW INCOME FAMILIES

ENHANCEMENTS WILL BE INTRODUCTED TO THE WORKFARE INCOME SUPPLEMENT (WIS) SCHEME WIS will be paid every month instead of quarterly at present. The qualifying income ceiling will also be raised to $2,000/mth

 

FOR SENIORS

  • THE SILVER SUPPORT SCHEME WILL BE LAUNCHED IN JULY 2016. It will benefit the bottom 20% of seniors, who will receive payouts of $300-$750/quarter. The first payout will be a double payout including a back-payment for the 2nd quarter of 2016. There will be no need to apply for the scheme, and 140,000 seniors are expected to benefit.
  • A PILOT SCHEME WILL BE LAUNCHED TO BUILD COMMUNITY NETWORKS FOR SENIORS. This will bring together schools, VWOs, seniors with a team of full time officers to provide co-ordinated health and social support.

OTHERS

    • A NEW AREA CALLED THE JURONG INNOVATION DISTRICT WILL BE LAUNCHED that will create an innovative urban environment to house different activities within a single next gen industrial district. The area will house R&D, protoyping labs, advanced manufacturing and robotics. It will also function as a living lab with testing and development of future technology such as self-driving cars.  The first phase is expected to be completed by 2020
    • PIC CASH PAYOUTS WILL FALL FROM 60% TO 40% on expenditures on or after 1st August 2016, PIC will expire after YA 2018, indicating that there will be no extension for the scheme. Tax deductions under the scheme will remain the same

How Much GST Credits You’ll Be Getting?

 

The bigger question on most Singaporeans’ minds is how much will they be getting this year, $250/ $500? Well first off, you need to have had an assessable income of $26,000 or less in YA 2015.

If you meet that condition, the answer is pretty simple, if you live in a HDB flat , odds are you should be getting $500 – This of course, depends on where you stay. If you live in a condominium, apartment or landed property, you’ll probably be getting $250 this year.

How can you find out exactly how much you’ll be getting from GST Credits this year?
2016’s GST Credits are based on the Annual Value of your home. If you’re a homeowner, all you need to do to check that value to is login to  mytax.iras.gov.sg.

The value of your home will be available there at no cost. If you are not the homeowner and want to avoid an awkward conversation with your parents about how much their house is worth, you can simple go to E-Val and find out. Though you’ll have to pay $2.50 to do so.

To find out more about the annual value of your home visit IRAS here.

 

What are your thoughts on the Budget 2016? Comment them below!

Hiring Administrative Staffs

  1. Admin Executive

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Provide general administrative support in communicating with all stakeholders through the use of various platforms
  • Maintain the security of confidential information through proper documentation system
  • Conduct Internet research, review and analyse information for departmental usage
  • Provide clerical support and workflow coordination to maintain a productive work environment
  • Assist in consolidation of documentation for the preparation of reports when required
  • Manage organisation’s website and IT-related matters
  • Manage organisation’s logistic matters where necessary
  • Any other duties assigned, as required
  • May occasionally be required to work outside of office hours and/or on weekends

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Diploma in any discipline
  • At least 2 years’ experience in an administrative role
  • Familiar with the expectations of a VWO
  • Proficient in English; proficiency in Mandarin/Malay is an added advantage

 

2. Assistant Admin Executive (Part-Time)

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Prepare schedules and booking of meeting rooms
  • Attend to phone calls, e-mails, as well as walk-in enquiries
  • Support general HR and finance administration
  • Assist in volunteer management and fundraising activities
  • Assist in participants co-ordination and management
  • Upkeep of members’ database
  • Any other duties assigned, as required
  • May occasionally be required to work outside of office hours and/or on weekends

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Higher NITEC in any discipline
  • At least 1 year experience in an administrative assistant role
  • Proficient in English; proficiency in Mandarin is an added advantage
  • Familiar with the expectations of a VWO

Candidates for all two positions should possess:

  • Strong verbal and written communication
  • Be well-versed in Microsoft Office software suite
  • Be able to work in a fast-paced and demanding environment
  • Adept at working individually with minimal supervision, self-motivated and dependable, and also with varied teams and work groups
  • Meticulous, with an eye for details, and resourceful

 

 

 

Hiring Social Worker

Social Worker

Roles and Responsibilities:

  • Provide case management and counselling support to clients residing in our transitional shelter for families
  • Monitor, evaluate and record clients’ progress according to measurable goals
  • Liaise with other agencies to provide access to other social assistance and professional services
  • Prepare reports and other administrative duties as required
  • May occasionally be required to work outside of office hours and/or on weekends

Desired Skills and Qualifications:

  • Degree in Social Work or related discipline
  • Qualify for accreditation by Social Work Accreditation Board
  • We may consider holders of Higher Diploma in Social Service, if candidate has plans to pursue, or is pursuing, a Degree in Social Work, with the aim of qualifying for SWAB accreditation.
  • Familiar with the expectations of a VWO, with at least 3 years of relevant experience in a social work role
  • Proficient in English and Malay; proficiency in Mandarin and/or Tamil is an advantage
  • Passionate, caring, goal-driven, and attentive to clients’ needs

Candidates should possess:

  • Strong verbal and written communication
  • Be well-versed in Microsoft Office software suite
  • Be able to work in a fast-paced and demanding environment
  • Adept at working individually with minimal supervision, self-motivated and dependable, and also with varied teams and work groups
  • Meticulous, with an eye for details, and resourceful

4,170 HDB flats launched in first BTO exercise of 2016

HDB launched 4,170 new flats for sale under the February 2016 Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise. Spread across three projects located in the non-mature towns of Bukit Batok and Sengkang, and the mature estate of Bidadari, they make up the first tranche of 18,000 flats to be launched in 2016. 

 

February 2016 BTO Exercise

 

2          A wide range of flats, comprising 2-room Flexi to Three-Generation (3Gen) flats, will be offered in this BTO exercise to meet the housing needs of first-timers, second-timers, multi-generation families, elderly and singles.  Further details can be found in Annex A.

 

3          Eligible first-timer families can enjoy up to $80,000 of housing grants, comprising the Additional CPF Housing Grant (AHG) (up to $40,000) and the Special CPF Housing Grant (SHG) (up to $40,000).  With these grants, buyers of 2-room Flexi, 3-room, 4-room and 5-room flats pay as little as $4,0001, $93,000, $211,000 and $314,000 respectively.

 

4          New HDB flats are priced with a generous subsidy, taking into account factors such as location, flat attributes and prevailing market conditions.  HDB’s prices are considerably lower than transacted prices of comparable resale flats in the vicinity (see Table 1 for the BTO prices and the comparable resale prices).   

Table 1:  February 2016 BTO Prices

Town Project(s) Flat Type Transacted Prices of
Resale Flats in the
Vicinity#
Selling Price
(Excluding Grants@)
Selling Price
(Including Grants^)
Non – Mature Towns
Bukit Batok

West Plains @
Bukit Batok

2-room Flexi* From $85,000 From $5,000
3-room $280,000 – $307,000 From $163,000 From $93,000
4-room $387,000 – $500,000 From $266,000 From $211,000
5-room $508,000 – $585,000 From $367,000 From $357,000
Sengkang Anchorvale Plains 2-room Flexi* From $80,000 From $4,000+
3-room From $171,000 From $101,000
4-room $365,000 – $415,000 From $267,000 From $212,000
5-room $380,000 – $481,000 From $324,000 From $314,000
Mature Town
Toa Payoh Alkaff Oasis 2-room Flexi* From $154,000 From $114,000
3-room $363,000 – $420,000 From $303,000 From $273,000
4-room $530,000 – $560,000 From $440,000 From $425,000
5-room $570,000 – $838,000 From $546,000 From $536,000
3Gen From $553,000 From $543,000

Note:

*     Come in two sizes of 36 sqm (Type 1) and 45 sqm (Type 2).

^     The assumed housing grants are meant for applicants applying as a family nucleus or two singles under the Joint Singles Scheme for a 2-room Flexi BTO flat.  SHG is applicable only to 2-room Flexi, 3-room and 4-room flats in the non-mature towns. With the SHG enhancement announced at NDR 2015, eligible first-time flat buyers with income up to $8,500 would now enjoy SHG of up to $40,000:

  1. 2-room Flexi flat: $80,000 (comprising AHG of $40,000 and SHG of $40,000 where applicable)
  2. 3-room flat: $70,000 (comprising AHG of $30,000 and SHG of $40,000 where applicable)
  3. 4-room flat: $55,000 (comprising AHG of $15,000 and SHG of $40,000 where applicable)
  4. 5-room flat / 3Gen flat: $10,000 (AHG only)

The actual grant amounts vary based on income and choice of flat type. Read more on various CPF Housing Grants available.

+     Buyers are required to pay at least 5% of the published price using their own CPF and/or cash savings when the total housing grants (i.e. AHG and SHG) that they are eligible for exceed 95% of the published price of flat. Excess housing grants, if any, can be used to pay for OCS items and premiums that singles and Singapore Citizen/Singapore Permanent Resident households have to pay, before they are credited into the Singaporean buyer’s CPF SA/RA and MA.

#     Details on the respective resale comparables in the vicinity for each BTO project can be found on the HDB e-Sales website. The differences in attributes between the resale comparables and the BTO flats should be taken into account when making a comparison.

@      Singles who apply for the 2-room Flexi flats under the Single Singapore Citizen Scheme will pay $15,000 more than married couples.  Eligible singles can also apply for AHG and SHG. The additional amount payable and the grants will vary based on the choice of lease tenure. The actual grant amounts will vary according to income.  Read more on various CPF Housing Grants available.

 

5          The 2-room Flexi flats are priced taking into account the lease tenure and whether the buyers are first-timers, second-timers, or others.  The price range of 2-room Flexi flats on short leases is shown in Annex B.

 

6          First-timer families will continue to enjoy priority in flat allocation2. Married/courting couples who wish to live together with their parent(s) can apply for a 3Gen flat in Bidadari.  Other multi-generation families who wish to live near each other in the same BTO project can apply for flats in Alkaff Oasis, West Plains @ Bukit Batok or Anchorvale Plains under the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme 3(MGPS). 

 

Advice for Flat Buyers

 

7          Applicants are advised to apply for a BTO flat in non-mature towns to enjoy a higher chance of success in securing a flat.

 

8          Regular updates on the number of applications submitted for the various flat types/towns will be published on the HDB InfoWEB.  Applicants are advised to check for updates before submitting their application.

 

9          Applicants who wish to take up an HDB housing loan for their flat purchase must produce a valid HDB Loan Eligibility (HLE) Letter when they book a flat.  They are encouraged to apply for an HLE Letter early so that they can plan their flat purchase in advance.  The HLE Letter will indicate the maximum loan that can be offered based on individuals’ financial situation.  Applicants can check their loan eligibility and apply for an HLE letter at www.hdb.gov.sg/hleapply.

 

Application for February 2016 BTO Exercise

 

10        Application for new flats launched in the February 2016 BTO exercise can be submitted online on the HDB InfoWEB from today, 24 February 2016 (Wednesday) to 1 March 2016 (Tuesday)Applicants can apply for only one flat type in one town.   

 

11        More details on application procedures can be found in Annex C.

 

12        For enquiries, the public can:

–      Log on to esales.hdb.gov.sg; or

–      E-mail hdbsales@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg; or

–      Visit the HDB Sales Office to speak with our Customer Relations Executives during office hours
       (Monday to Friday 8 am to 5 pm, Saturday 8 am to 1 pm).

 

Upcoming BTO-cum-SBF Launch in May 2016

 

13        In May 2016, HDB will offer about 4,070 BTO flats in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Bukit Merah, Bukit Panjang and Sembawang.  About 5,000 balance flats will be offered in a concurrent Sale of Balance Flats (SBF) exercise.  More information on the flats to be offered under the May 2016 BTO exercise is available on the HDB InfoWEB. 

 

[1] In this case, the total grants are $80,000 and the selling price is $80,000. A minimum payment of 5% of the published price, i.e. $4,000 is needed, and the excess AHG/SHG will be credited into the buyers’ CPF Special Account (SA) /Retirement Account (RA) and Medisave Account (MA).

[2] At least 85% (for 4-room and 5-room flats) and 70% (for 3-room flats) of the BTO public flat supply in the non-mature towns are set aside for first-timer families. For flats in the mature estate of Bidadari, at least 95% (for 3-room and bigger flats) of the public flat supply will be set aside for first-timer families.

[3] HDB will set aside up to 15% of the 2-room Flexi and 3-room flats in a BTO project (subject to a minimum of 20 units each) for parents applying under MGPS. The same number of 2-room Flexi and bigger flats will be set aside in the same BTO project for their married children.

Article depicted from HDB Infoweb.

 

 

 

Just Parenting Association Flag Day 2015

We are inviting everyone to volunteer on our upcoming Flag Day this coming 24 June 2015.

Our vision is to provide the low-income families in Singapore with the necessary tools and skill that they need to create a stable family and we do this by providing free talks and programs for all. We are also a ministry appointed shelter operator and is currently running WAHAH shelter for the homeless families. The funds that we raised during the flag day will contribute towards the operational cost of the shelter and programs run by the organization.

There are two ways in which students can contribute for our flag day the details is as per below;

1) Volunteer as tin-bearers for street collection (student must be 15y/o and above);

The reporting station for the Flag day will be at BLK 3 Queens Road #01-169 Singapore 260003.
Nearest MRT is Farrer Road MRT (circle line)

As of now, the proposed location for the street collection will be at:-
a) Dhoby Ghaut & Orchard Road area
b) Geylang Serai (hari raya bazaar)
c) Woodlands Mrt

*Should the volunteers decides to do the street collection at their own choice of location they will have to inform the IC on the day upon registration.
There will be 3 shifts to choose from (all volunteers should report 45 mins to 1 hour before their shift for briefing): –
1) 10am to 1 pm
2) 1 pm to 3 pm
3) 3 pm to 5 pm

Light refreshment & transport allowance will be provided.
All secondary and tertiary students will receive CCA/CIP points if they requires it. All certificates and/or official letter will be given out at the end of their shifts.
Alongside with that, we will need their personal particulars (Name/Mobile No./School/Date of Birth) and preferred shift.

2) Flag day pledge cards (No age requirement for students) ;

For volunteers who are unable to participate in the street collection they can also opt for the pledge cards.
The volunteers can solicit donation from family, friends & acquaintances from the period of 17th June 2015 and return the cards latest by 24th July 2015.

All secondary and tertiary students will receive CCA/CIP points if they requires it. Every $10 pledge will be equivalent to 1 CCA/CIP hours. All certificates and/or official letter will be given out at when the pledge card is returned.

To request for pledge cards volunteers can email their details (Name/NRIC/Mobile No./School/Date of Birth/NRIC No.) to aishah@justparenting.org.sg . We will send via post or deliver to school depending on the quantity or they can come by to our collection centre at BLK 3 Queens Road #01-169 (starting from 17th June) to collect the cards themselves.

Thank you once again for your interest we hope to hear back from you soon. Should you require more info feel free to call me at 6471 5446. Have a nice day.

ADAM Association & Just Parenting Association FLAG DAY 2014

ADAM Association & Just Parenting Association Joint Flag Day will be on 9 August 2014. We are inviting volunteers to help us collect donations during the said event. We are seeking for your support as volunteers to help us raise $50,000 for this fundraising event.

Just 3 hours of your time can go a long way

11:00AM – 2:00PM
1:00PM – 4:00PM
3:00PM – 6:00PM

For more information and to register. Kindly email us at admin@justparenting.org.sg or call us at 6471 5448/ 6475 3574

If you are unable to volunteer on the day itself but eager to help you can also adopt a donation tin for just $100/- each.