HDB will also implement process improvements and automate eligibility check processes
National Development Minister Desmond Lee said the Housing and Development Board (HDB) took immediate action to recover housing grants that were incorrectly disbursed to 12 ineligible applicants, reported Channels News Asia.
The Auditor-General’s Office (AGO) latest audit of public agencies also flagged the remaining 1,055 applicants, which HDB is working to verify their eligibility.
The AGO, in its audit of government accounts for the year 2020/2021, said housing grants totalling SGD405,000 (USD301,471) had been disbursed to ineligible applicants.
Lee said, “AGO found that HDB had disbursed grants to 13 applicants who did not meet the eligibility criteria. Of the 13 applicants, HDB has since verified that one applicant had in fact been correctly assessed for the grant disbursement.”
Further investigations revealed that the grants were falsely expended because “the applicants had failed to declare material information such as their actual income and private property ownership to HDB”.
On top of taking action to recover the grants, HDB will also make process improvements and automate eligibility check processes.
Applicants for Central Provident Fund (CPF) housing grants must submit evidence of income, employment, and details of private property ownership, if any. They must also declare all relevant personal information and the proposed occupiers of their HDB flats.
HDB then manually evaluates each application, verifying the declared incomes against the documents provided by the applicants and their occupiers, which include payslips, employers’ letters, commission statements, and history of CPF contributions.
HDB will verify documents such as the Notice of Transfer, Transfer Instrument, and Sale & Purchase Agreement, for ownership of private property.
Lee adds that the process improvements and automation of checks will enable HDB to accurately and efficiently assess applicant eligibility, even if they fail to declare relevant information.
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