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Home ownership is still a "key social pillar": Khaw Boon Wan

Published on Feb 12, 2014 12:00 PM
 
Home ownership remains Singapore's "key social pillar," National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Wednesday, in a blog post marking the 50th anniversary of the Housing Board's 'Home Ownership for the People Scheme.' -- ST FILE PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

Home ownership remains Singapore's "key social pillar," National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said on Wednesday, in a blog post marking the 50th anniversary of the Housing Board's 'Home Ownership for the People Scheme.'

In his post, Mr Khaw looked back at how far Singapore had come since Feb 12, 1964, when the scheme was launched. Early housing estates such as Toa Payoh and Queenstown might seem basic today but were considered "very progressive in their time," he noted. And the HDB remains forward-looking in its designs, for instance, all new Build-To-Order projects will incorporate eco-features such as energy-saving lighting in common areas and eco-pedestals in bathrooms.

But more important than the hardware is the heartware, and home ownership "gives Singaporeans a tangible stake in our country, financial security, and a critical sense of belonging," said Mr Khaw.

He noted that former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew had envisioned making Singapore a nation of home owners, and many pioneers such as then National Development Minister Lim Kim San helped turn his vision into reality. "Once we were an island of squatters and slums. Today, over 80 per cent of our people live in good quality HDB flats, with nine in ten owning their own flats."

 
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