Housing and Development Board


Employment can be found in industrial estates located within several towns. This concept persisted in subsequent application of the model in other towns through to the present, although some modifications are noted, particularly in terms of precinct size and physical configuration.

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Shortly after achieving self-governance in , Singapore faced a serious problem of housing shortages; low construction rates and massive damage from World War II further exacerbated the prewar housing shortage. High-rise buildings were also rare. In , the shortage problem remained. An HDB paper estimated that in , , people lived in squatter settlements in the suburbs and , lived in squalid shophouses in the Central Area. When it won the elections and formed the newly elected government, it took immediate action to solve the housing shortage.

The housing that was initially built was mostly meant for rental by the low-income group. The Home Ownership for the People Scheme was also introduced to help this group of people to buy instead of rent their flats. While the new scheme acted as a hedge against inflation, it provided financial security to homeowners. Later, the people were allowed to use their Central Provident Fund money for down payments.

These efforts were, however, not successful enough in convincing the people living in the squatter settlements to move into these flats. The HDB estimated that from to , an average of , housing units—80, from the current deficit, 20, due to the redevelopment of the Central Area, and 47, due to population increase—would need to be constructed, or an average of about 14, a year.

However, the private sector only had the ability to provide 2, per year, and at price levels out of reach of the low-income population. The HDB's policies were largely in line with the manifesto set out by the Singaporean government: In , citizens were allowed to use their pension fund Central Provident Fund to purchase and own the homes they were renting to give them a stake of the country and as an incentive to work hard.

To prevent social stratification that may lead to social conflict, the housing of different income groups is mixed together in estates and new towns. In the s, the HDB concentrated on upgrading existing older flats, installing new facilities such as lifts that stop on every floor. Studio apartments were specially built to suit the needs of senior citizens in Singapore's ageing society. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see HDB disambiguation. Retrieved 14 October Archived from the original on 10 October Retrieved 23 October Global Urban Development Magazine.

If you are a SERS resident, you will get the opportunity to move to a new home with a new year lease, and continue living close to your current neighbours. While precinct boundaries may be difficult to physically distinguish in older precincts, they are usually obvious in newer precincts through the physical layout of the block and their unique architectural design. Newer precincts and upgraded older precincts also often adopt fanciful names reminiscent of private developments to lend an air of class and belonging, although these names are often not used in reality since they are sometimes not displayed and are not part of official addresses.

Public housing precincts in Singapore are clusters of public housing blocks arranged as a single unit. Comprising an average of 10 blocks per precinct, they are collectively grouped into up to nine neighbourhoods per new town. The Housing and Development Board , the sole public housing planner, designer and builder in the city-state , adopted the precinct concept in , based on its understanding that social interaction and community bonding can be optimised in a smaller planning unit compared to a full neighbourhood.

In addition, precincts are expected to evoke a stronger sense of security, although they are not physically fenced, and do not restrict movements for residents or outsiders in any physical way. Tampines thus became the first new town to be planned according to this model in This concept persisted in subsequent application of the model in other towns through to the present, although some modifications are noted, particularly in terms of precinct size and physical configuration.

The increased usage of multi-storey carparks also allow flexibility in the provision of open spaces for each precinct, and the configuration of blocks to separate human and vehicular traffic. While older new towns were not built according to the precinct concept, they were, nonetheless, often planned and built in batches otherwise similar to precincts.

Major town redevelopment and upgrading plans such as the Main Upgrading Programme and the Interim Upgrading Programme in older estates such as in Queenstown , Toa Payoh , and Bukit Merah from the s has involved the enhancement of the precinct concept, including the physical upgrading to collective groups of blocks, re-configuration of public spaces around them, and often includes the christening of names to these estates.

In other cases, old groups of blocks are completely demolished and rebuilt under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme , accelerating the evolution of these towns towards the precinct concept. Each public housing block is considered a vertical community, with common area built into the design to promote social interaction. Void decks , a term unique to Singapore, refers to the first level which are often left devoid of housing units, hence the word "void".

These open, sheltered spaces are intentionally left empty to provide convenient spaces for communal activities such as weddings, funerals, parties, bazaars and even as polling stations. Selected blocks would feature a single stand-alone shop, often referred to as "Mamashops" to provide convenient doorstep service. Other common permanent facilities built in void decks may include Residential Committee facilities and offices, kindergartens, medical centres, Neighbourhood Police Posts , fire posts and so on.

Also common especially in older flats are the common corridors, some of which may run across the length of slab blocks. Considered public property, they have rules preventing home owners from occupying and restricting movement, with the exception of units at far ends of corridors who may purchase and incorporate parts of the corridor into their units from the HDB.

While these corridors are welcome for being the default interaction areas for neighbours and their children, and the added sense of security due to their open-nature, issues of privacy can crop up, resulting in more contemporary blocks featuring far fewer units per corridor. Larger units such as 5-room flats are also commonly housed in "Point blocks", which feature only four units per floor.

The slanting roofs of several blocks in Potong Pasir were considered revolutionary and became instant landmarks for the estate till this day. Today, HDB blocks tend to amalgamate the point and slab block designs, featuring taller blocks but with slightly more units of about 6—8 units per floor.

New blocks nowadays tend to be around storeys high. As of , The Pinnacle Duxton , is the highest HDB flat in Singapore, with seven connected storey towers, totalling to 1, units. The façades of public housing blocks has also evolved over time. After the initial rush to mass-build flats in the s however, varying façades began to appear in subsequent decades, initially only through subtle variations such as coloured tiles, but which became full-scaled multi-coloured paintwork complete with bright motifs from the s.

After several elaborate designs, some of which subsequently presented logistical headaches during maintenance, more subdued and contemporary designs began to emerge from the s. HDB Flats in Singapore are sold on a year lease agreement.

The remainder are rental flats reserved for those who are unable to afford to purchase the cheapest forms of public housing despite financial support. Singapore maintains a quota system of ethnicities through the Ethnic Integration Policy. In practise, while ethnic enclaves were avoided, some towns remained traditionally popular for specific ethnic groups. For instance, towns such as Bedok, Tampines and Woodlands have a slightly larger proportion of ethnic Malays above the national average.

Partly in response to public sentiment against the alleged formation of "PR enclaves", where some flats appeared dominated by PRs from a single nationality, the HDB introduced the Singapore Permanent Resident Quota which took effect on 5 March The primary acquisition avenue is through the purchase of new flats directly from the HDB. Over the years, various forms of sale programmes has been in place, with the current mode of sale known as the Build-To-Order HDB programme launched in Applicants who wish to move in immediately or earlier thus have to participate in the SBF exercise although some flats may still be under construction or go for Resale Flats.

There are a number of eligibility conditions in order for a flat to be purchased. A buyer must be a Singaporean citizen , or P. Singles below years of age, and non-citizens are not allowed to purchase new HDB flats.

Other requirements concern household status, time requirements, income and other special requirements. Those are the priority schemes available when applying for a flat from HDB: From July , two new groups had been allowed to purchase flats directly from HDB. The other group is Singaporean-Foreigner couples.

However the flat type that both groups can buy is restricted to two-room HDB flats in non-mature estates. Existing flat owners are allowed to sell their flats on the open market to any eligible buyer at a mutually agreed price. In addition, most flat owners may only sell their flat if they have met the Minimum Occupation Period MOP requirement, which was introduced to help reduce speculative activities. In , these requirements were lengthened to help cool the heated property market at that time.

Pricing of public housing flats are typically cheaper than privately built developments. The Government implemented market pricing and the asset enhancement policy for public housing in the late s.

The aim of this programme was to allow heartlanders a chance at enjoying the appreciation of their HDB flat — which is a key asset for most of them. The programme led to more than 10 fold increase in the price of HDB flats in the next 30 years. This entailed upgrading of public housing flats in constituencies that are most supportive of the People's Action Party PAP during an election. This in turn would increase the value of the voters' flat, resulting in a potential windfall when they sell it.

As a result, the opposition-held housing estates of Potong Pasir and Hougang had no upgrading for close to 30 years. The PAP government is criticised for abusing state resources to achieve partisan political objective, giving PAP MPs an unfair advantage over the opposition candidates.

The purpose of vote is reduced to a question of whether one wanted upgrading. In the lead up to General Election, the Workers' Party proposed pegging the price of new HDB flats to the median incomes of households that qualify to buy them, rather than to resale market prices because flat prices are too high and would be a financial burden for younger generations of Singaporeans. Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan criticised WP's housing proposals, claiming that it would devalue existing flats and the WP was against upgrading programmes and that lowering land costs to lower flat prices amounts to an illegal raid on Singapore's reserves.

WP chief Low Thia Khiang countered that his party is not against upgrading as it is the duty of a responsible government to improve Singaporeans living conditions. But the asset enhancement policy is more than just upgrading as it involves benefiting from the sale of a flat which runs counter to the government's policy of owning a home. It will never go down", reaffirming the PAP government's policy of asset enhancement.

He added that for the vast majority of flats, the leases will expire and the flats will be returned to the HDB, which will in turn have to surrender the land to the state. On 3 April , a retiree wrote in to the Straits Times forum highlighting the plight of senior citizens who are unable to monetize their old flats for retirement needs as prices came down after Wong's revelation.

Maintaining the government's stance on asset enhancement, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said, "It enables every Singaporean to share in our economic growth, because as the economy grows, so will the value of your home. And nearly every household has a substantial asset to its name, even low-income households. Maintenance of the HDB's approximately , units largely falls under the Town Councils , which are not part of the HDB but which are formed under the Town Councils Act primarily with the purpose of maintaining the common areas of HDB flats and estates.

Common areas would include the common corridors, void decks, lifts, water tanks, external lighting and the open spaces surrounding the estates, which are managed, maintained and improved on by the respective Town Councils. Rental flats, on the other hand, are maintained directly by the HDB to ensure serviceability for the next occupant. The HDB is also the direct authority overseeing home renovation works, whereby while home owners engage third-party contractors, the HDB imposes strict renovation rules to ensure no structural damage and adherence to noise control during renovation works.

The HDB also approves renovation contractor registrations to enforce quality control. Large-scale improvement works to existing public housing developments were carried out in the form of various programmes under the Estate Renewal Strategy, beginning with the Main Upgrading Programme MUP since These help to bring common facilities up to standards with newer developments, and in some cases, to offer some improvements to individual units, such as the addition of reinforced bomb shelters which can double-up as an additional room during non-emergency periods.

To date, close to precincts has benefited from these schemes. While the majority of precincts were improved upon, some precincts were completely redeveloped under the Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme to better maximise the use of land.

As , 80 sites has been affected since the Scheme was introduced in , affecting over 33, residential units. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. April Learn how and when to remove this template message.

New towns of Singapore.