Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Housing and Development Board (Abbreviation: HDB; Simplified Chinese: 建屋发展局; Malay: Lembaga Pembangunan dan Perumahan) is the statutory board of the Ministry of National Development responsible for public housing in Singapore. It is generally credited with clearing up the squatters and slums of the 1960s and resettling residents into low-cost government-built housing.

HDB History
About 80-90% of Singapore's population are currently living in HDB flats, with high-density housing being a solution to the problem of overcrowding. There are a number of eligibility conditions in order for a flat to be purchased. A buyer must be a Singaporean citizen, and be 21 years of age and have a "proper family nucleus". Other requirements concern household status, time requirements, income and other special requirements (see here for details).
Ownership in public housing is limited to a 99-year lease. There are several types of public and semi-public housing available, classified on the basis of the number of rooms and size of the flat. Semi-public housing is governed under HUDC instead of HDB and have a much larger floor area. Size is usually denoted by the terms such as four-room, five-room or similar, and is based on the number of rooms in addition to the living room but newer five-room apartments come with only 3-rooms & dining room. Some newer HDB developed flats in new towns include some condominium facilities.
Most of the residential housing developments in Singapore are publicly built. Thus, public housing in Singapore is not considered a sign of poverty or a lower standard of living; as compared to public housing in other developed countries where land constraint is a non-issue and property pricing is significantly cheaper. Very few people in Singapore live below the poverty line.
For example, a HDB 4-room flat depending on age, environment and surrounding amenities can have a sale value of between S$200,000 to above S$300,000 and a HUDC Executive maisonette above S$500,000. However, in contrast a privately developed condominium type housing can cost as much as S$1,000,000 and above. The largest HDB flats (in terms of floor area) ever built are two-storey Executive Masionettes built in the 1990s which can have floor area ranging from 160 - 190 m².

Eligibility and price
Singapore maintains a quota system of ethnicities within the HDB program. There are strict requirements as to who can move into an HDB flat, based on whether they are Chinese, Indian, Malay, or that they belong to another race. Singapore maintains that there must be a certain ratio of ethnicities within the HDB blocks, and any move-in or move-out must adhere to this policy. The HDB declares that this is to promote homogeny amongst Singapore's diverse population, in order to prevent racialism and racial segregation and preventing heterogeneous racial blocks from forming. This system arose after Singapore's 1965 split from Malaysia, due, in part, to their dissatisfaction with Ketuanan Melayu, a Malaysian system of racialist beliefs that benefits only the Malays who are said to be Bumiputeras ("Melayu" is the Malay word for "Malay").
Other considerations for granting the application of a HDB flat include the priority given to buyers, as well as citizenship and residency requirements, based on the number of children.

Buying a new flat through HDB can be done by three different modes, Build To Order, Walk In Selection and Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme.

Main Upgrading Programme (MUP), launched in March 1992
Interim Upgrading Programme (IUP), launched in August 1993
Selective En bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS), launched in August 1995
Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP), launched 2001
Interim Upgrading Programme Plus (IUP Plus, a combination of IUP and LUP), launched on 20 May, 2002) New flats and upgrading programmes
HDB's headquarters were previously located at Bukit Merah. They were moved to their new premises at the HDB Hub at 480 Lorong 6 Toa Payoh on 10 June 2002 [1]. The existing Bukit Merah premises became the headquarters for Surbana One.


Ang Mo Kio New Town
Bedok New Town
Bishan New Town
Bukit Batok New Town
Bukit Merah
Bukit Panjang New Town
Choa Chu Kang New Town
Clementi New Town
Hougang New Town
Jurong East New Town
Jurong West New Town
Pasir Ris New Town
Punggol New Town
Sembawang New Town
Serangoon New Town
Sengkang New Town
Simei New Town
Tampines New Town
Toa Payoh New Town
Woodlands New Town
Yishun New Town HDB precincts

Public housing in Singapore
Design, Build and Sell Scheme
List of properties managed by the HDB
HLM (France)

No comments: