Overwhelming support for “Remaking Our Heartland” plans

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) has received overwhelming support on plans to remake estates like Hougang, East Coast and Jurong Lake.

Almost all of the 13,000 people surveyed said they were looking forward to the S$1 billion ‘Remaking Our Heartland’ plans for those areas.

The exhibitions for those plans had attracted some 77,000 visitors in January this year.

A new town centre, with new commercial facilities and air-conditioned bus interchange in Bedok; and new waterfront housing and flats upgrading in Hougang are some plans which will rejuvenate those neighbourhoods.

And in a YouTube video entitled ‘Public Housing Matters’, National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan, who was also featured in the video, assured that flats will remain within reach of Singaporeans.

He said “I hope that Singaporeans do not forget the fundamental principles that have brought us to where we are today, which is a home-owning society. In fact, (we have) the highest home owning percentage in the world. No other country has the same extent of home ownership that we have.

“And what are these three principles? The first is home ownership as opposed to rentals. The second principle is homes as an asset, and not just a roof over people’s heads. And the third principle is home for the masses, not just for the minority.

“The question that people are asking, people are worried about really is whether this can continue. Whether they will be able to continue to afford good quality homes. And here I would like to make this categorical assurance and commitment that we will continue to provide good quality, affordable homes, for as many people, through good times and bad. And not only provide the homes, but sustain the values of those homes over time, as our economy grows. That is the commitment that this government makes.”

The video also highlighted the various government schemes to help keep home prices affordable.

Some of the existing schemes include the Special CPF Housing Grant and the Additional CPF Housing Grant. These are helpful to low-income households looking to buy smaller HDB flats and young first-time flat buyers. Such schemes also mean flat buyers need only fork out a S$36 monthly payment in cash after using their CPF or in some cases, no cash at all after CPF deduction.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 26 Apr 2011

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