HDB wants to hear about residents' special places

Survey aimed at helping design communal spaces to deepen the sense of belonging

A survey by the Housing Board wants to hear from residents what unique places in their towns hold special memories for them.

This will help the HDB design communal spaces and strategies to deepen residents' sense of belonging, said the statutory board yesterday.

It is the first time the HDB Sample Household Survey will be asking residents about these special places.

The survey, launched earlier this year, will collect feedback from about 8,000 households across 26 towns. It is targeted to end in the third quarter of this year, with results estimated to be ready by early 2020.

This year's survey is the 11th edition of a five-yearly exercise, which started in 1968.

The survey aims to understand residents' socio-demographic profiles and their views on HDB living. It will be carried out through face-to-face interviews or e-surveys.

The survey also seeks to understand social interaction among HDB dwellers - such as frequency, type and where such interactions take place.

It will measure satisfaction levels with HDB facilities too, as well as the changing lifestyles of residents - for example, whether they shop online or use bike-sharing services.

Said the statutory board: "Over the years, the findings of the surveys have helped to shape the HDB living environment, as seen from the design of new HDB flats, the creation of new community spaces, and the measures to help families live closer together."

For example, in the 1960s and 1970s, it focused on adaptation to high-rise living. In the 2000s, there was more emphasis on community and liveability.

The findings have also helped shape the HDB environment.

  • 8,000

    Number of households included in the survey, across 26 towns. It is targeted to end in the third quarter of this year.


    The year that the survey results are estimated to be ready.


    Percentage of residents in 1973 who said they would live on the 12th storey or higher. This rose to 57.9 per cent in 2003.

For instance, taller HDB flats were built, as it was found that residents were becoming more receptive to high-rise living.

In 1973, only 13.9 per cent of residents said they would live on the 12th storey or higher, but this rose to 57.9 per cent in 2003.

In 2013, about one in three residents said they were willing to live in blocks of 40 storeys or higher.

Data also showed more interactions occurring at lift lobbies and void decks. The proportion of interactions at these places - out of all interactions in the neighbourhood, including in common corridors and at the market - rose from 41.6 per cent in 2008 to 44.7 per cent in 2013.

This resulted in community living rooms being introduced in new HDB projects from 2014, to foster bonding among neighbours.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2018, with the headline HDB wants to hear about residents' special places. Subscribe