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Building on Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s Legacy of Housing a Nation
HDB has been presented with an artillery shell casing from the 21-gun salute fired during the State Funeral Procession of Mr Lee Kuan Yew on 29 March 2015, by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). This is in recognition of HDB’s contributions to nation building in Singapore since it was set up in 1960.
2 HDB CEO, Dr Cheong Koon Hean, said : “The late Mr Lee Kuan Yew is the key driver of public housing in Singapore. His vision of a home-owning society has given Singaporeans a tangible stake in the nation. Without his vision, Singaporeans today would not have a home they can call their own, upon which they can build their family and lives. Nor would HDB have the privilege to house almost an entire nation. We are deeply honoured to be a recipient of the artillery shell casing. It will always remind us of Mr Lee’s vision and spur us to build on his legacy, to give Singaporeans better homes and better lives”.
3 From 17 Mar 2016, the artillery shell casing will be showcased at the HDB Gallery, located at HDB Hub at Toa Payoh, Basement 1. The HDB Gallery tells of the story of Singapore’s public housing journey, and showcases its evolution from its humble beginnings of squatter settlements to the vibrant HDB towns of today.
The artillery shell casing presented to HDB is housed in the HDB Gallery, which showcases Singapore’s public housing journey.
4 Today, Singapore is internationally recognised for its quality and affordable public housing and high home-ownership rates. This was not the case in Singapore’s early years, when most people lived in over-crowded and unhygienic slums. Mr Lee set up the HDB in 1960, and launched an ambitious building programme to provide proper homes for Singaporeans.
5 In 1964, Mr Lee mooted the Home Ownership for the People Scheme to encourage families to own their HDB flats. The Home Ownership Scheme received a boost when the government allowed the use of CPF savings for purchase of HDB flats in 1968. It has successfully turned Singapore into a nation of home owners, contributing to the overall economic, social and political stability of the country. By the 1980s, the government had housed more than 80 per cent of the population.
6 Beyond housing communities, Mr Lee knew that public housing had to meet the rising aspirations of Singaporeans as the nation prospered. He pushed for the continual upgrading and rejuvenation of older estates, to ensure that they remained vibrant and well-maintained.
7 For more than half a century, HDB has built on Mr Lee’s vision. From the simple and utilitarian flats built in the early years, to the green, sustainable and community-centric new generation public housing of today, we have come a long way. Today, residents are able to enjoy a quality living environment where they can live, work, learn and play.
SkyTerrace @ Dawson, completed in 2015, ushers in a new generation of public housing that are green, sustainable, and community-centric.
8 In all our housing policies and programmes, the needs of our residents will continue to remain at the core of what we do. New home buyers can look forward to affordable new flats with refreshing designs and quality living environment; while our residents in older estates can also look forward to their homes being rejuvenated through HDB’s upgrading and renewal programmes.