The HDB story began with it taking over from its predecessor, the Singapore Improvement Trust. Persevering through challenges, HDB has since established public housing in Singapore as a benchmark of excellence.
In 1960, there was a housing crisis in Singapore. Many people were living in unhygienic slums and crowded squatter settlements. Only 9% of Singaporeans lived in government flats, while others yearned for a place to call home.
The Housing & Development Board was thus set up on 1 February 1960, tasked to solve Singapore’s housing crisis.
HDB sprang into action, and in less than 3 years, it had built 21,000 flats; 2 years later, that number was 54,000. Within a brief span of 10 years, HDB built a sufficient number of flats for Singaporeans and resolved the housing crisis.
For HDB to successfully meet the difficult goals set out, it needed a sound public housing strategy. This strategy was defined by 3 crucial fundamentals:
HDB is now home to more than 80% of Singapore’s population, across 23 towns and 3 estates. Having completed more than 1 million flats and housed an entire nation, we believe there is more that we can do to build new-generation housing and smart, sustainable towns. We will continue to serve to the best of our abilities to create the best possible living environment where communities can thrive.