By Olivia Siong | Posted: 11 March 2013 1236 hrs

SINGAPORE

The government will ramp up the supply of rental flats to 60,000, a 20 per cent increase from the 50,000 last year.

Announcing this in Parliament on Monday, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for National Development Maliki Osman said the government has always been committed to helping the weak and vulnerable victims of circumstances.

Dr Maliki said one way the government has done this is through supporting low-income families own their own homes.

But for those who cannot afford their own home, the government has provided rental flats.

Dr Maliki also stressed that although market rents have increased significantly, the public rental structure has not increased since 2006.

He added that the government also has no plans to do so.

In administering the public rental scheme, Dr Maliki said there are rules in place to focus help at the vulnerable.

This is while ensuring that imprudent behaviour is not encouraged, and the work ethic is not eroded.

But he added that in the application of these rules, the government will consider the merit of each case and exercise flexibility and compassion to help those in dire need.

Dr Maliki said the government helps vulnerable families holistically and fundamentally.

This is to prevent them from getting into difficulties, and to help them get out if they do get into difficulties and to also prevent entrenchment.

– CNA/de