Parliament: 3,000 rental flats being built, adding to existing pool of 60,000

Rental flats at Champions Way in Woodlands. About 50,000 households live in public rental flats currently. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Another 3,000 rental flats are in the pipeline, joining the other 60,000 that are already built, Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong said in Parliament on Monday (Aug 6).

He was responding to Mr Alex Yam (Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC), who had asked several questions about the public rental system, including the current supply of these flats.

About 50,000 households live in public rental flats currently.

Mr Yam also asked why the sizes of public rental flats have changed and whether the Ministry of National Development has plans to introduce basic occupancy standards for these flats.

In his reply, Mr Wong said that when public housing first started, Housing Board blocks comprised one-, two- and three-room rental flats.

He said as the Government pushed for home ownership, the HDB sold three-room rental flats to the existing tenants, and closed the three-room rental register in 1982.

When it resumed the rental building programme in 2007, only one- and two-room flats were built.

Mr Yam also asked if there were plans to impose limits on the number of occupants in a rental flat.

But Mr Wong noted that nine in 10 households in public rental flats have four or fewer persons living together. "Larger families who form two separate nuclei, such as grandparents living with parents and children, and need more space may also apply for two separate rental flats," he said, adding that there are no plans to impose such limits.

"Similarly, there is no limit on the number of related persons who can purchase a flat or rent one on the open market together as a family," he said.

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