Dip in number of HDB residents satisfied with flats, neighbours: survey

HDB flats in Toa Payoh, taken on 7 May 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
HDB flats in Toa Payoh, taken on 7 May 2014. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The proportion of Housing Board (HDB) residents who are satisfied with their homes and neighbourhoods has dipped, even though satisfaction levels are still above 90 per cent, according to an HDB survey conducted every five years.

In the survey of almost 8,000 households conducted last year, over 91 per cent were satisfied with their flat, down from 96.4 per cent in 2008. Those who were not were mainly concerned about the condition of their ageing flats.

Satisfaction with the neighbourhood also slipped to 92 per cent, down from 95.1 per cent. But this was mainly due to "heartware" rather than hardware, with inconsiderate neighbours cited as the main problem. Satisfaction with estate facilities rose instead to 96.1 per cent, up from 94.4 per cent previously.

Nonetheless, neighbourliness was on the rise. More people interacted with their neighbours, including those of different ethnic groups or nationalities.

In a blog post on the survey results, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan said: "The survey results enable us to better understand our customers' changing needs and expectations. They provide useful information for our policy reviews and subsequent improvements to town design."

He highlighted, in particular, the finding that 81 per cent of elderly residents wanted to grow old in their current flat. Only 4.2 per cent intended to move in the next five years, down from 7.3 per cent in 2008.

The HDB will work harder to cater to this wish to age in place, said Mr Khaw. "We will also have to do more to familiarise them with the various monetisation options, such as the Lease Buyback Scheme and Silver Housing Bonus."