Table of Contents
Part 1 of 9, Singapore, The Place
Part 2 of 9, Public Housing Of Singapore, HDB
Part 3 of 9, The Selection Process and Residential Localities
Part 4 of 9, The HDB Township
Part 5 of 9, Localities Preferred by Expatriates
Part 6 of 9, The Districts of Singapore
Part 7 of 9, Rental Levels and Prerequisites For Rental
Part 8 of 9, Procedures For Renting Accomodation
Part 9 of 9, The Process of Engaging a Realtor
Part 2 of 9, Public Housing Of Singapore, HDB Flats
HDB is a term heard incessantly in Singapore. HDB stands for Housing and Development Board and in general conversation refers to the various apartment complexes constructed by them. The Board started construction of homes in 1960, developing a few acres of land into a complete, self-sufficient township.
85% of Singaporeans live in HDB flats that come in all sizes from one room to five rooms and executive apartments. A three room flat means two bedrooms and a combined living plus dining space in an area of approximately 1000 sq ft. A five room flat would be about 1400 sq ft with 4 bedrooms and living plus dining space. The largest are the Executive mansionettes, which are often double storied with bedrooms on the upper floor.
The Housing Development Board built these flats and encouraged people to save for them and be able to own their homes. People are permitted to use their savings kept in the Central Provident Fund to pay for their HDB homes. Basic in terms of furnishings and design, they are cheaper than the private housing available.
HDB flats are seen in clusters of buildings both low and high rise, in large numbers as separate, distinct townships. Each of these townships is self-contained with its own town center, market place, shops and shopping mall, playgrounds for sports and recreational activities, cinema halls, libraries, religious places and so on. The idea has been to make each of these completely self sufficient so that people do not have to travel long distances for the facilities they require. They are also well connected either by public buses or the Mass Rapid Transit trains called the MRT or both. Living in such areas is convenience personified and you get the taste of the real Singapore.
Every aspect of these townships is so carefully thought out and planned that outsiders are awestruck at the kind of facilities people enjoy. Some of the unique ideas need to be replicated in other countries. A simple example is that of covered walkways leading to bus stops and MRT stations. The idea being to provide covered shelter from rain that is common at certain times in the year, leading right from the home to the bus stop with not even an umbrella needing to be used.
The government has encouraged each HDB Township to have an amicable blend of three distinct ethnic groups to maintain an even balance rather than allow a localization of ethnic groups in separate areas.