For six decades, HDB has steadfastly built quality homes and vibrant heartland communities for Singaporeans. Today, 80% of Singapore’s population live in flats, and about 9 in 10 of them own their homes, cementing HDB living as a quintessential part of the Singaporean way of life.

This Financial Year (FY), HDB continued our mission to fulfil Singaporeans’ housing aspirations. We formulated and refined our policies to meet changing needs, improved residents’ living environments, and forged strong community ties.

Affordable and Accessible Homes

HDB serves a very diverse population with varying housing needs, aspirations, and lifestyles. As such, the policy enhancements we made this year were aimed at helping even more Singaporeans achieve their home ownership dreams. For example, the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant and raised income ceilings improved housing affordability and accessibility, while a new sales mode gave buyers quicker access to a new flat all year round.

Also, among the new measures are targeted assistance to supplement the retirement adequacy of seniors and to make housing more accessible for unmarried parents and second-timer families.

Quality, Future-Ready Homes

As the largest housing developer in Singapore, HDB plays an important role in developing towns that are eco-friendly and smart to support the nation’s sustainable development goals.

The HDB Green Towns Programme, which we announced this FY, aims to bring sustainable and green living to all existing HDB towns by 2030, through large-scale implementation of green features. Separately, our SolarNova programme has also accelerated solar adoption across the whole of Government. Having already surpassed the previous solar target of 220 megawatt-peak (MWp), we have set a new solar target of 540 MWp by 2030 that is equivalent to powering about 135,000 4-room flats with clean energy and could potentially reduce carbon emissions by 324,000 tonnes per year.

Existing flats and towns will continue to undergo upgrading. This FY, we enhanced our popular Home Improvement Programme (HIP) to include better quality fittings and finishes, such as improved water-efficient sanitary fittings for bathrooms. HDB also announced the fourth batch of towns— Bukit Merah, Queenstown, Choa Chu Kang and Ang Mo Kio—to be systematically and comprehensively transformed under the Remaking Our Heartland programme. Residents and community stakeholders can look forward to opportunities to co-create plans for these towns, as part of the Singapore Together movement.

A Sense of Ownership

Beyond bricks and mortar, our flats are endearing homes because of the community that is thriving within the neighbourhoods. For many years now, HDB has been actively collaborating with partners and residents to build friendships and community ties, so as to boost the vibrancy of the living environment. This FY, we consolidated our ground-up place-making efforts, namely the HDB Friendly Faces, Lively Places Fund and Build-a-thon, and re-branded them under the Lively Places Programme.

Under the Lively Places Programme, residents can obtain up to $20,000 in funding to realise programmes and activities that can enliven their community spaces. In this FY alone, we received more than 80 applications to initiate community-driven place-making projects. We disbursed close to $220,000 to support these efforts in enlivening the community spaces and promoting community bonding. A high-tech hydroponics community garden and a void deck that has been transformed into an Instagram-worthy hang-out spot are some of the projects that have drawn residents together.

Keeping Faith

Over the years, HDB has undergone continuous innovation and transformation to consistently deliver quality and excellence in many key areas, from building affordable homes to going the extra mile in delivering services to our customers.

As a testament to our ongoing efforts, the Public Service Division had recently awarded HDB the Transformative Agency of the Year Award. We were chosen for having innovatively transformed our services, operations, functions, and policies to put Singaporeans and their housing needs at the heart of all we do.

This was a milestone year for HDB as we marked our 60th anniversary. The COVID-19 pandemic has, however, shown us that even the best laid plans can be disrupted by unforeseen challenges. It has also uncovered opportunities in designing and planning future homes, especially in the areas of health and wellness. With our fingers on the pulse of the built environment, HDB will remain resilient and focused on our goal of developing the best possible homes for Singaporeans.

I would like to thank the HDB Board Members and the Management for their strong leadership, and also extend my heartfelt appreciation to all our staff for their continued dedication to serving the nation. It is heartening to know that we can rely on our strong fundamentals— an agile workforce, bold leadership, and clear sense of collective purpose—to see us through challenging times like these.

HDB will move forward with confidence to overcome the challenges, and continue to deliver on our promise to provide affordable and quality homes that Singaporeans will cherish.

Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong