Public housing a work-in-progress, Khaw

Although a lot have been done in the housing front, it remains a “work-in-progress” given the changing demographics, stated National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan at a People’s Action Party (PAP) rally for Sembawang Group Representation Constitution (GRC).

Mr Khaw, who serves as the PAP anchor minister for Sembawang GRC, outlined several improvements and measures on housing in order to illustrate how the Singaporeans and the government can tackle challenges together including “what more can be built together”, reported Today Online.

He cited the doubling of the Special CPF Housing Grant, the Fresh Start Housing Scheme, the construction of 100,000 new flats, the measures to build more rental flats and the new Proximity Housing Grant as examples of what his ministry achieved over the last four years.

Mr Khaw noted that the 100,000 new flats cleared the newlyweds’ waiting queue for new flats while the waiting time for rental flats has been reduced to four to five months.

Meanwhile, the Fresh Start Housing Scheme will provide families with young kids, who are living in HDB rental units, a second chance to own a two-room flat, although they have acquired and sold a subsidised HDB unit before.

“We will implement it as soon as we can. Because we do not want to leave anyone behind. This is our commitment,” he said.

“It is a continuation of a commitment that dates back 50 years. We have always wanted every Singapore family to have the peace of mind, to pursue their dreams in a stable home which they own. This way we can better ensure that your children can enjoy and benefit from the same Singapore that you have.”

Notably, the measures to cool the housing market saw the market moderate very nicely, even though some developers were unhappy about it, with some property agents finding their income and business affected.

“Unfortunately, we cannot have home prices both high for the sellers and low for the buyers,” said Mr Khaw.

Nonetheless, he believes that most Singaporeans support the cooling measures and prefer the present situation to four years ago.

“Singapore is already a nation of homeowners. Nowhere else in the world can you find this. But still, public housing is always a work-in-progress as we need to… respond to changing demography and changing aspirations,” he said. “We have done a lot for housing, but we still have things to do.”


Nikki De Guzman, Editor at CommercialGuru, edited this story. To contact her about this or other stories