Go back to basics to make housing affordable: ex-HDB CEO

Housing must be affordable, but the Housing & Development Board (HDB) must also remain financially viable, said former HDB chief executive officer Liu Thai Ker.

He was speaking about Singapore’s housing policies at a lecture organised by the Ministry of National Development (MND) on Thursday.

Dr Liu, who is also the chairman of the Centre for Liveable Cities, said that Singapore must remain prudent, making sure that “government finance is sound”.

He also gave suggestions on making housing more affordable.

He said supply should match with demand, adding that it might not be a bad idea to over-supply “marginally”.

He said this would keep market prices in check.

Dr Liu also spoke about the difficulties and challenges faced in executing public housing policies.

He also discussed how the Singapore model may be applied to highly dense cities in developing countries.

Dr Liu Thai Ker, former chief architect and chief executive officer of HDB, said: “We should go to the basics, in the sense that we should not emulate condominiums, because… (they) require more expensive materials…

“Go back to the basics, keep the housing prices still affordable, and let the residents embellish the house.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 21 Mar 2013

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