Merits of having Soho blocks in HDB estates

It is about time that we changed our mindset about Housing Board flats (HDB flats meant for living in, by Mr Francis Cheng; April 28).

Just because our flats are subsidised does not mean we cannot do anything else other than live in them.

The small office, home office (Soho) blocks I have in mind (Set aside HDB blocks for home offices; April 26) are a combination of residential and office units, and not residential blocks with a shopping centre or light industry.

There will be no problems of noise, smoke, odour or chemicals associated with retail or industrial businesses.

They will create a tiny, quiet commercial hub within a housing estate that can provide jobs to local residents, with less travelling needed, thus lessening the load on our roads and transport system.

If buyers choose to live in new Soho blocks, there will be no complaints because they know the purpose of living in such an area.

If existing blocks are converted to Soho use in a majority vote, the minority residents will also benefit because home values will likely go up.

As for outdoor advertising, if it is done properly, Soho blocks can enhance our urban environment.

Let us be creative and not kill the goose before it can lay golden eggs.

Pang Meng Hock

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 01, 2017, with the headline 'Merits of having Soho blocks in HDB estates'. Print Edition | Subscribe