Way back in March, I posted a story about Priscilla and her boyfriend, and their frustrations in applying for a Housing Board apartment. They wanted to get married and start a family quickly but, like many young couples here, they could not get a unit to call their own.
At that time, she said she had failed a total of 7 times since her application in 2008. "This is quite an appalling number of tries considering that HDB claims that majority of first timers can get their flat within 2 tries," she said then.
She appealed to the minister after their fifth unsuccessful attempt, but that also did not bear fruit. After her 7th attempt, she told me her story and I decided to blog it. I also alerted HBD to the feedback and was notified to wait for a reply.
Nothing was heard from either the HDB or Priscilla about the matter until two days ago when she sent me a Season's Greeting. I took the opportunity to ask her about her application and this was her reply:
"After the posting on the blog, we wrote a second appeal to the minister (which once again got an unsatisfactory template reply after a month).
"This was followed by a separate email in early May to an MP to get his help after all the disappointments. I guessed the appeal from the MP was unsuccessful as well since we did not get a Jurong West unit which we balloted for in May.
"Just as we were at our wits’ ends, we decided to write in another appeal to specifically target the points raised by HDB in all the previous replies. At the same time, we balloted for one of the BTOs that was launched during this period.
"Fast forward a few months, we received a queue number that was within the number of units available and have successfully chosen a unit.
"This has certainly been a long journey of close to 3 years and I’m glad we never gave up trying.
"But despite this, I can only say that HDB still needs to work on their replies as none of the replies provided have been satisfactory at all (and this includes the final email acknowledging that I have chosen my unit)."
When asked whether her story in boo-n-bouquet was useful, she said: "I guess in some way, the blog post helped and made sure they paid attention to my case. But I sent in two more appeals after the post, attacking every point in their replies. So I guess that, combined with the blog post made them more aware of my case."
Bouquet for Priscilla for her perseverence. As for the HBD, well...
PS...Priscilla's new home is in Bukit Panjang.