Here’s another chance to press the government for action on single parents’ housing

September 11, 2017

Today, a parliamentary petition – signed by seven single parents – was presented to Parliament, urging changes to HDB’s current housing policies for single-parent families.

AWARE worked closely with MP Louis Ng to make this happen. Like you, we believe that our housing policies must support ALL parents and children in their striving for stable family lives.

This legislative push was sent to the Public Petitions Committee. Parliament was called to ensure that all parents with any care and control of their children are no longer subject to HDB’s debarment rule, and those with legal custody of a child are not discriminated against on the ground of their marital status.

This is an incredible opportunity to make real change and we need your help to press the committee into taking this petition seriously. It’s crucial for those deliberating these rules to fully understand the adverse impact they have on single-parent families, and to hear directly from them on their struggles with housing. To be truly reflective of their experiences, we must urge the committee to produce an extensive report looking into this issue, in order to strongly convince Parliament to take action.

These amendments, if enacted, will benefit thousands of families. Said a divorced mother who signed the parliamentary petition, “I dealt with so many difficulties trying to find a stable home for my kids because of rules that discriminate against families like mine. I hope by contributing my name to this petition, other families won’t have to go through the same obstacles.”

Let’s show the government that we are among thousands who want equality for single parents – and that we are paying attention.

Here’s how you can take action.

1. Write to the Public Petitions Committee.

The public petitions committee are the ones who consider the petition in the first instance and will report to Parliament with findings and recommendations. Tell the committee members how changing the restrictive debarment and family nucleus rules will help single-parent families in Singapore. Urge them to speak and listen to single parents firsthand so that their final report reflects real experiences.

Get in touch with the committee members:

Miss Cheryl Chan Wei Ling:
Dr Janil Puthucheary:
Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang:
Ms Denise Phua Lay Peng:
Mr Tan Chuan-Jin:
Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong:
Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye:

2. Submit letters to the newspaper forums

MPs are sensitive to the public’s perspectives on issues they are addressing, and publishing letters in the media is one major way to show there is public support. Tell our MPs and the public why you think it’s important for these changes to be made, and how the amendments will impact children’s development and improve family lives – especially for low-income households. If you are from a single-parent family, you can also talk about how your own challenges with housing has affected you!

Write to:

The Straits Times Forum
TODAY Voices
Lianhe Zaobao Forum (Email:

3. Keep the conversation going within your social network and community

To make change, we need greater social awareness and stronger public pressure. Share our video of conversations with single parents, our eye-catching comics based on real experiences of single parents, and our in-depth research exploring the effects of housing policy on these families. Let others know why you support the amendments, and how it contributes to a fairer society.

4. Do you have other ideas on how you can help? Write to us:

Add your voice to the cause today.