HDB will consider measures preventing formation of foreign worker enclaves

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will consider appropriate measures to discourage the formation of significant foreign worker enclaves in HDB estates, Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan told Parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Khaw said HDB was currently monitoring the situation, and that the board does not have the equivalent of the Ethnic Integration Policy or Singapore Permanent Resident quota policy in the management of the number of foreign workers renting HDB flats or rooms.

He said that was because unlike the sale of HDB flats for longer-term occupation, the renting of a flat or room is a temporary housing arrangement.

Mr Khaw was responding to MP for West Coast GRC, Foo Mee Har, who asked what rules were applied to prevent the formation of foreign worker enclaves and to ensure a balanced mix of locals and foreigners in public housing estates.

Currently, foreign workers renting flats or rooms from HDB lessees form about five per cent of the total population living in public flats.

This includes holders of employment passes, S passes, professional visit passes and some work permit holders. Work permit holders who are non-Malaysian construction workers are not eligible to rent HDB flats or rooms.

However, Mr Khaw said there were subletting rules limiting the number of subtenants allowed for each flat type. Flat owners who sublet their flats or rooms are also required to observe the terms and conditions of subletting.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 10 Jul 2012

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