A Singaporean woman has been living in Changi Airport for the past eight years while she’s been renting out a three-room apartment.
The 50-year-old woman, who chose to remain anonymous, is one of 10 “regulars” at the airport who became desperate after she was hit by the 2008 financial crisis, according to the Straits Times.
The Chinese evening paper, Lianhe Wanbao, reported that the woman was only supposed to stay for a couple of nights, but since she had no steady income at the time, she ended up staying for eight years in Tampines.
But it’s not as bad as it seems as she has her supply of clothes, toiletries, food and other daily essentials.
Like most airports, Changi has a food court where people can eat. It’s also fully equipped with a supermarket, showers, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
While she is living on a rental income of more than $1,000 and is not in financial hardship, she hopes to get her own place soon.
“I intend to sell the flat and apply for a smaller two-room unit, to make life easier,” she said.
However, the Changi Airport Group discourages people from seeking shelter at the airport.
“We will work with agencies like the Ministry of Social and Family Development, as well as Family Service Centres, to find the best way to help them,” it said in a company statement.
The 50-year-old woman isn’t the only person who calls Changi Airport home. One couple “co-habits” there. Another man in his 60s has a rental apartment on Beach Road but had a falling out with his roommate, so he started sleeping at the airport just to avoid his roommate, but returns home during the daytime.
The man also prefers to sleep in air conditioning on hot nights, he told the paper.