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They lived in flats with such poor conditions that not many people would be even willing to step inside the house.

So when news broke that a family was living in such torrid conditions, agencies chipped in to solve the problem.

The 84-year-old man, his 53-year-old daughter, and 49-year-old son were living in one flat with a crowded living room filled with cardboard bits, mountains of plastic bottles and an altar. They worked as rag-and-bone collectors.

His other two sons in the flat next door were also living in cluttered and dirty conditions. It appears that their living conditions worsened after his wife died about seven years ago.

The Chua Chu Kang Town Council, HomeSavv.com, HDB, Nanyang Zone 1 RC, Singapore Police Force, SSO@Boon Lay, and Whispering Hearts FSC, gathered to come up with a solution to help improve the family’s living conditions.

It took 14 people, 10 hours and five containers to clear the hoarding, and 8,000 kg of trash was collected. Eventually, the flats were made habitable for the family in two weeks.

Officers from Nanyang Neighbourhood Police Centre helped coordinate a cross-agency meeting, and were proactive in following up with the family until the situation was resolved.

The Community Policing Unit also worked with Ministry of Social and Family Development to link the family to other community agencies, a long-term solution to ensuring that the family gets continuous support for their problems.

 

Clutter at mr Lim's flat

Portion of clutter in Mr Lim’s flat. 

 

team involved in clean up

Team involved in clean-up. 

Min Fu presenting awards to team at MSA 2016

Minister Grace Fu presenting the award to the team at the Municipal Services Awards on 30 September 2016.