Posted by: hyacinthus | October 10, 2007

New HDB Flats in Central Prime Areas?

Following Mr Ngiam’s suggestion for HDB to build Condos, here’s Minister Mah’s reply in an exclusive interview with My Paper today.

My Paper carried its exclusive interview with Minister Mah as a cover story to examine the concerns on public and private housing that young people had. It highlighted Minister Mah’s point that even with the skyrocketing prices of properties in the central prime areas, some sites would still be allocated for public housing. As such, young people need not worry that they would not have the opportunity to live in the central area.

In the main report, My Paper highlighted Minister Mah saying that despite rising prices, Singaporeans would not be priced out of the market when buying flats and social cohesion would still be maintained by ensuring there is a good mix of developments in the different areas.

He also pointed out that Singaporeans could choose where they would like to stay. Flats would also be built in prime districts like Holland Village and Duxton. However, Minister Mah stressed that Singaporeans should not expect many flats to be built in prime locations, as it would be unrealistic to do so. The surroundings of housing estates would also be improved to create a distinctive global city. At the same time, Singaporeans would have more choices when buying flats, from DBSS flat, flats in mature estates, to waterfront flats in new towns.The report also briefly touched on getting private sector architects to design the new flats in Dawson estate, and how the Housing In the Park concept arose from the need to provide residents with more green and public spaces.

The second report, in a Q&A format, highlighted Minister Mah’s replies to questions on whether public housing would remain affordable to the young people, whether the monthly household income ceiling of $8,000 should be revised, allowing first timers whose household income slightly exceeds $8000 to buy a new flat, feedback from young couples that they are unable to secure a flat in time for their wedding, whether HDB was building smaller flats to cater to the ageing population and whether HDB should venture into the mid- and upper-tier housing market. Minister Mah disagreed with former top civil servant Mr Ngiam Tong Dow’s view that HDB should build condominiums and compete with private developers as HDB’s most important task is to take care of the needs of the 80 per cent of the population (My sentiments exactly!). He also pointed out that HDB was not just taking care of the low income families but also the housing needs of the middle and upper-middle income.

My Paper would be publishing the second part of the interview on private housing in tomorrow’s issue.

Reference:
1. Some prime areas in the CBD would be reserved for HDB flats – My Paper (10/10/07), Frontpage
2. Young people: Where is my home? Minister: There are many choices for flats, you can live anywhere you like – My Paper (10/10/07), p4-5
3. HDB would not build condominiums and compete with private developers – My Paper (10/10/07), p6

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