Woman lives in Changi airport for 8 years

SINGAPORE: A woman has made Changi airport her temporary home for the past 8 years.

According to the Straits Times, 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.

Quoting the Chinese evening daily, Lianhe Wanbao, the woman said she rented out her three-room flat in Tampines eight years ago and moved to the airport.

Initially, she wanted to only stay a few nights but it has already been 8 years. She now carts her essentials like clothes, toiletries, food and other daily necessities in a shopping cart.

She eats at the airport food court and finds living there quite convenient as there is a supermarket, showers, air-conditioning and free Wi-Fi, Wanbao said.

She has rental income of more than SGD$1,000(RM3,108.62), and is not in financial difficulty, but hopes to have a roof over her head.

"I intend to sell the flat and apply for a smaller two-room unit, to make life easier," she said.

Changi Airport Group said that when its staff see people who seek shelter at the airport, they would urge them not to do so.

"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 statement.

There are others who make the airport their home, the woman said, including a couple who "co-habit" there.

Another regular, a man in his 60s, told Wanbao he has a rental flat in Beach Road but fell out with his roommate.

To avoid his roommate, he started sleeping at the airport recently, but goes home during the day.

He also prefers to sleep in air-con on hot nights, he said.

There have been previous reported cases of people camping out at Changi Airport.

Two years ago, a homeless couple who stayed at the airport for several months made headlines. They moved in after a fall out with relatives.