Racing Against Racism

By: CP Residences
July 2022

How one apartment hunter found a haven in the nick of time

After a year in Singapore, Aadhya (not her real name) had mostly settled in. 

She had arrived from India in January 2021 to pursue a master’s degree in the field of marketing at the National University of Singapore (NUS). Now that she had completed the course, she was looking forward to starting work at a food technology startup. The only problem was, the one-year lease on her rental apartment was running out.

AT WITS’ END

With the January 15 deadline looming, Aadhya began a frantic search for a new apartment – and for the first time since her arrival, she felt alienated.

“That period was the most frustrating time for me. It was so difficult to find an apartment,” she recalled. It was not the time and effort spent on securing viewings that got to her. 

Instead, she found the overt discrimination she faced distressing. “Sorry, the landlord doesn’t want Indians” was a common refrain among the agents she contacted. 

“What I didn’t like was that they asked for race and ethnicity,” Aadhya said of those hurtful encounters. 

Upset and desperate, she was ready to give up. With a few days left on her lease, she was “totally open to getting a hotel room for a few days”. 

Then one evening, as she and a friend were scouring the internet for an apartment, they came across CP. After scrolling through the pictures on its website, Aadhya made contact.

A GUARDIAN ANGEL

When CP’s community manager Elizaveta Sukhomlinova heard her story, she fast-tracked the application and Aadhya got her apartment on January 16 – just one day after her rental lease expired.

It is no wonder Aadhya has nothing but praise for Elizaveta, known fondly as Eliza in the CP community.

“She’s a sweetheart, I love her. She’s so helpful and considerate, someone who will understand what I need and give me the best options.”

Aadhya recounted how Eliza came to the rescue one afternoon when her roommate, who was rushing to attend an important meeting online, got locked out of their room.  

Eliza hurried over to open the door with her master key once she got the call. 

To Aadhya her spacious and well-lit four-room apartment, which she shares with three housemates, is the “perfect setup”. Scarred by her rental experience, she is now an advocate of co-living. 

“I would consider coliving because so many things are taken care of. They welcome everyone.”

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