chapter  1
15 Pages

Public-housing policies compared: United States, ex-socialist nations and Singapore

INTRODUCTION In a world of nations replete with instances of failure to meet the housing needs of their respective citizens, Singapore's successful publichousing programme is one exception. The programme was initiated in 1960, a year after domestic self-government was gained from the British Colonial Office. Influenced by the social democratic ideology of its British-educated leaders, the newly elected government of the People's Action Party (PAP) launched the comprehensive housing programme as a covenant with its recently enfranchised electorate. The task was entrusted to the new public-housing authority, the Housing and Development Board (HDB). Since then, the HDB has been given extensive powers in all development work - land acquisition, resettlement, town planning, architecture design, engineering work, and building material production - but not in the actual construction of the buildings, which is undertaken by private construction firms. It is also responsible for the allocation of flats and, until recentl)) the management of all aspects of the housing estates. I In other words, it is responsible for the total management of the public-housing programme, except for setting the sales and rental prices offlats, which is undertaken by the Ministry of National Development.