Median Household Income for Poor Families Falls 69% while Rent Payment Doubles

The median household income for families seeking help from local charity Beyond Social Services has fallen from S$1600 to S$500 per month.

This was revealed in a study of 1000 applicants of the organisation’s assistance fund, which compared their income before the COVID-19 pandemic.

80 percent of these poor families live in public rental housing, and the study found that rent as a percentage of their household income more than doubled.

In her report, the study’s lead author Dr Stephanie Cook said:

“The financial impact of Covid-19 has been devastating for many. It has been especially brutal for low-income families, who grappled not just with economic hardship but multiple forms of insecurity as everyday life was disrupted in unforeseen ways.”

The report has recommended stronger social protection schemes and employment rights for low-income workers, and the extension of rent waivers for public rental flat residents.

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