Realign HDB policies to reflect changing reality

While Housing Board policies favouring married couples were enacted in the first place to encourage citizens to get married and have children, it is a fact that Singapore's fertility rate is plunging and the number of people choosing not to have children has increased (Single parents who petitioned for changes to housing policy disappointed at rejection; ST Online, Nov 30).

HDB's policies may have been conceived with the best of intentions, but despite all the measures to attract the stork, reality has somehow dictated otherwise.

Rejecting the needs of single parents based on the notion of "parenthood within marriage" is akin to rejecting the fact that the fertility rate has nosedived and increasing numbers of people have chosen to remain single.

I am not questioning the sanctity of marriage and having children.

However, we must also have the courage to admit that these policies have failed to produce the desired result, and that there is now a need to review them so that they reflect the changing realities on the ground.

Rejecting the needs of single parents based on the notion of "parenthood within marriage" is akin to rejecting the fact that the fertility rate has nosedived and increasing numbers of people have chosen to remain single.

Seah Yam Meng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 04, 2017, with the headline 'Realign HDB policies to reflect changing reality'. Print Edition | Subscribe