Public housing in 21st century must meet changing needs: Minister Mah
By S.Ramesh, Channel NewsAsia 27 January 2010
SINGAPORE: Singapore's National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan said public housing in the 21st century must evolve to meet changing needs.
But the core mission of the HDB remains unchanged - that of providing Singaporeans with affordable quality homes and building cohesive communities.
Speaking at the International Housing Conference in Singapore, Mr Mah noted the HDB will face increasing challenges due to shifting demographics. These include an aging population which may require further innovations in housing policies or building design.
These include an aging population, which may require further innovations in housing policies or building design.
In addition, with more new Singapore citizens, greater integration efforts will be required.
Mr Mah said rapid globalisation and affluence may also prompt other lifestyle changes and with it, increased expectations of what public housing can provide.
Singapore is also facing the steadily ageing profile of HDB flats and towns. So there will be an urgent need to upgrade, redevelop and rejuvenate older estates.
Mr Mah said HDB must meet these challenges and continue achieving environmental, economic and social sustainability. This will contribute to Singapore's overall quest to provide a green and healthy living environment, through careful long-term planning.
In the past half century, HDB achieved much for Singapore and garnered significant international recognition, including the UN Public Service Award.
And he urged HDB to continue its relentless pursuit of sustainable public housing for the next 50 years and beyond.
Martin Koh/ Sherry Tang