For most Singaporeans, their first HDB flat occupies a special place in their heart, like a first kiss or first job, according to National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan.
In a blog post this morning, he wrote: “This is where we build our family, bring up our children and from where we build our network of neighbours and close friends.”
Today, 61 percent of owners of 900,000 flats live in their first HDB flat, Mr Khaw noted.
Among the 26 public housing estates in Singapore, the percentage ranges from 53 percent in Woodlands to as high as 77 percent in the Tanjong Pagar/Chinatown/Bugis area.
Other towns that scored highly include Marine Parade (74 percent) and Kallang/Whampoa (68 percent).
Some of the reasons for owners deciding to stay put in a mature estate are the central location and comprehensive facilities.
The Minister added that unlike other global cities where most people tend to rent their homes and often shift to new places as they change jobs, Singapore is in a unique position due to HDB’s highly successful “Home Ownership for the People Scheme”. In its 50th year, the scheme pushes for homeownership in the country.
“Homeowners, unlike tenants, largely stay put in one place. The stability allows us to build deep community ties and lasting friendship and memories. Our first HDB flat therefore takes on special role,” said Mr Khaw.
With the majority continuing to live in their first flats, Mr Khaw pledged that the housing board will “make all HDB towns an endearing town and all HDB flats a lovely home”.