History of Hougang

Hougang is located in the northeast region of Singapore and is bounded by Sengkang to the North and Serangoon to the South. Hougang was formerly home to pig farms and a fishing port that has since 1977 slowly transformed into a mature HDB estate with pockets of private residential developments. In fact, Hougang is considered Singapore’s largest public housing estate boasting over 51,000 dwelling units.

Despite being located in the suburbs, Hougang enjoys a good mix of reputable schools, healthcare, parks and sporting facilities. Currently served by the Kovan, Hougang and Buangkok MRT stations via the North East Line (NEL), Hougang is set to welcome two more MRT stations by 2029 via the Cross Island Line (CRL), which will link it to Aviation Park in Changi, Punggol Digital District and Jurong Lake District.

What’s in Hougang

Hougang has a rich heritage and is well-known for its Instagram-worthy colourful mural that can be found at Block 25 Hougang Avenue 3, the recreational space at Punggol Park, and the fountain-shaped well at Tua Jia Ka.

Heartland Mall

Photo: Heartland Mall, Kovan Singapore

Being a mature town, Hougang is blessed with a myriad of facilities to cater to the young and old. The original Hougang town centre is located just next to Kovan MRT station. Called Kovan City, the town centre is home to Heartland Mall and Kovan Hougang Market and Food Centre. The mall counts Cold Storage, Toast Box and Kentucky Fried Chicken among some its anchor tenants while the market and food centre is where you can find the freshest produce plus various hawker fares at very reasonable prices.

As Hougang developed over the years, another town centre was created at Hougang Central to cater to the increasing number of HDB dwellers. Located next to Hougang MRT station and Hougang Bus Interchange, Hougang Central features two shopping centres, namely, Hougang Mall and Kang Kar Mall. The former counts Harvey Norman, NTUC FairPrice Supermarket, Popular Bookstore and Cheng San Community Library as its anchor tenants while the latter is home to NTUC FairPrice and Kopitiam.

One of the perks of living in Singapore’s largest public housing estate is that you can find everything that you need at every nook and cranny. From park connectors to delicious yet affordable hawker food, Hougang is blessed with many hidden gems thanks to its rich history and heritage sites. Hougang also enjoys an enviable number of good schools such as Montfort Junior School, Holy Innocents’ High School, Xinghua Primary School, Xinmin Primary School and Xinmin Secondary School.

Meanwhile, Ci Yuan Community Club located at Hougang Avenue 9 is the first of its kind to offer residents a hawker centre, medical care and entertainment all under one roof. Opened in late 2015, residents can enjoy a plethora of food options at even more reduced prices, a one-stop family medicine clinic with personalised, enhanced care and a state-of-the-art 500-seat theatre.

Health enthusiasts and nature lovers will find delight when embarking on a 26-km journey via the North-Eastern Riverine Loop. Running from Punggol Park up to Punggol Point and back to Buangkok Park Connector, get ready for a scenic adventure that will have you exploring lush wetlands, reservoirs and landscaped waterways with a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna species.

History buffs will be in for a treat as Hougang has a rich heritage that goes back more than 200 years. Here, you can go on a heritage tour at the Upper Serangoon Road Heritage Corridor that will take you to various places of interest such as the 162-year-old Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Kew Ong Yah (Nine Emperor Gods) Temple before exploring Haji Yusoff Mosque and St Paul’s Church. Interestingly, the Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Kew Ong Yah were both gazetted as national monuments in 2005.

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Hougang in the next 10 years

Under the Hougang Master Plan, Hougang will be revitalised with new homes, community amenities, parks, the introduction of two new MRT stations and two industrial parks that will bring jobs closer to home.

As part of plans to rejuvenate the town, areas near Punggol Park will be opened up to build more homes over the next few years, which will provide scenic views of Serangoon River.

For those who love green spaces, you can look forward to the expansion of Punggol Park and a 4.4-km Hougang Avenue 3 Park Connector. That latter connects residents at Hougang and MacPherson to the North-Eastern Riverine Loop via the Serangoon Park Connector, providing a scenic route for cyclists and joggers. Meanwhile, sports enthusiasts can look forward to sweating it out at the new $1.5 million Jalan Kayu Sports Hub at Buangkok Crescent and a new 2.2-km waterway canal with lookout decks, shelters and seating at Hougang Avenue 10.

There’s more. Come 2030, the Cross Island Line will be fully operational and will pass through Hougang with two MRT stations – Hougang and Defu. The former will serve as an interchange station with the North East Line while the latter will serve Defu Industrial Park.

Defu Industrial Park is an old industrial area that will be redeveloped to house the logistics,  precision engineering, info-communications and media, electronics, clean energy and biomedical industries. Phase 1 was completed in 2017 while the subsequent phases will be developed over the next 15 years. To support the industrial park’s rejuvenation, a new commercial hub will be developed. Called Defu City Centre, it will be located just beside Defu Industrial Park and will provide a range of amenities such as F&B outlets, convenience stores, medical clinics and childcare centres. Last but not least, a new cycling network will be added to make the industrial park a more attractive and greener work environment.

Another upcoming hub is Lorong Halus Industrial Park. Touted as a “new-generation industrial park”, it will target the light and clean industries such as food, lifestyle and logistics while boasting a vibrant riverfront lined with lush greenery. In addition, waterfront parks and open spaces will be developed along the industrial park for the enjoyment of workers and residents.

Get the Guru View

Hougang may at first appear as a very high-density residential area judging by the sheer number of housing units that it has. However, the town has been carefully planned by the authorities with wide open spaces and lush greenery intermingled with housing estates, commercial centres, transportation hubs, heritage sites, waterfronts and industrial parks. All these have made it a pleasant estate to live, work and play. Soon, living in Hougang is set to become even more convenient with the opening of Hougang and Defu MRT stations as well as the development of industries at Defu and Lorong Halus Industrial Parks. As such, Hougang will offer home buyers enhanced connectivity while bringing jobs closer to home.