260 hoarding cases remain unresolved due to difficulty in gaining hoarders’ cooperation: MND

260 hoarding cases remain unresolved due to difficulty in gaining hoarders’ cooperation: MND

SINGAPORE: The authorities are working on 260 active hoarding cases that will remain “protracted plus unresolved” because it is difficult to gain hoarders’ cooperation to declutter, mentioned Senior Minister of State for Nationwide Development Sim Ann on Monday (Sep 12).  

“Frontline officers face real tensions on the ground in balancing between the person’s individual right to choose how they want to upkeep their own home and their neighbours’ enjoyment that belongs to them residences, especially in cases where the clutter drops short of outright lawful violations, or usually do not meet the threshold pertaining to public health and safety dangers as determined by the particular Singapore Civil Protection Force (SCDF) as well as the National Environment Company (NEA), ” Microsoft Sim said within Parliament.

The particular questions from Associates of Parliament (MPs) follow fires in HDB flats final month, including one in Jurong East Road 21 where a man died.

SCDF formerly said that the firefighting and damping down operation for that occurrence was “very challenging” as the entire unit contained a sizable volume of debris which was closely packed through “wall to wall”.

Ms Sim noted in her reply that the Authorities takes an interagency approach towards hoarding due to its complexity and the potentially fatal open public hazards.  

The Hoarding Administration Core Group (HMCG) was set up in 2014 to coordinate efforts across the agencies. This comprises agencies such as the NEA, SCDF and HDB, among others.

Hoarding cases are assessed and prioritised based on whether there is a threat to open public health and safety, said Microsoft Sim.   Exactly where risks are discovered to the extent that will rules and laws and regulations are violated, regulatory agencies will issue orders or consider enforcement action on the hoarder or home owner.


Ms Sim mentioned: “The root cause of a hoarder’s behaviour is certainly complex. For example , one’s hoarding could be a symptom of underlying mental health problems like obsessive addictive disorder (OCD), or developed after encountering trauma or heavy grief. ”

Hoarding behaviour might be worsened by social factors, such as family members disputes or the stockpiling of collected items at home for a rag-and-bone business.  

If a hoarder is usually suspected to have mental health issues, they will be known the Agency intended for Integrated Care as well as the Institute of Mental Health for professional assessment and treatment, said Ms Sim.  

“Agencies work closely along with healthcare workers, local community partners, such as social workers, Family Assistance Centres, grassroots market leaders, volunteers and the hoarder’s family members in a concerted effort to resolve hoarding cases, ” the girl added.

She noted that despite having the involvement of mental health organizations and professionals, problems may still lead to the recurrence associated with hoarding as behavioural change is “unlikely to happen overnight”.