Rental fees may rise in assisted living public housing as cost pressures mount

SINGAPORE: Given Singapore’s rapidly ageing population, the demand for assisted care living arrangements have steadily risen. But as cost pressures mount, some private firms that provide assisted care at public housing flats may have no choice but to raise rental prices.

Some seniors have found in recent years that it is more cost-effective and mentally stimulating to share the living space with fellow older people. A 79-year-old who owns a four-room flat in Woodlands is among those who think this way. She rented two of the rooms out to two other elderly women.

The three roommates didn’t know each other in the beginning, but now they take care of each other. They also share care resources, such as helpers who take care of the trio’s needs.

Such housing arrangements are often undertaken by elderly care service providers. These companies will rent government HDB flats or apartments according to the living needs of the elderly, and provide assisted living options. Tenants often pay $2,000 or more a month, including rent and care.

In addition to private sector firms, there are also several non-profit organizations in Singapore that provide assisted care living arrangements in public housing flats. These organizations include St. Andrew’s Nursing Home, Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities, and Ren Ci Hospital.

But the serious shortage of housing supply and rising rents have aggravated the costs of operation for some private companies, although they are eligible for Government subsidies. Some providers that spoke to the Chinese daily this week have cautioned that they may have to raise rental prices to be able to cope with skyrocketing costs.

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