• Published Date: 15 May 2018

    About 8,000 households in HDB flats will get the chance to help shape their living environment, in the latest Sample Household Survey (SHS) launched by HDB.  Since its inception in 1968, the five-yearly survey seeks to understand HDB dwellers’ views and satisfaction with HDB living, from the amenities in their estates to the design of their flats, as well as the strength of community ties in the heartlands.


    2          For the first time, residents will be invited to identify a unique place within their town that holds special memories for them. The feedback from residents will aid HDB in the design and planning of communal spaces in HDB towns, and the formulation of strategies to deepen residents’ sense of belonging to the community.


    SHS 2018 – Capturing the heartbeat of HDB living


    3          Some 8,000 households across the 26 HDB towns and estates have been selected to participate in SHS 2018. The survey can be completed either through a face-to-face interview or via e-survey. The latest survey covers three main areas:



    a)    HDB Population and Households – This section seeks to understand the socio-demographic profile of HDB residents.


    b)    Social Well-Being of Residents – To better understand the nature and strength of social interaction among HDB residents, the survey also seeks to understand the frequency and types of interaction that HDB residents have with their neighbours as well as the locations where such interaction take place – within the block, precinct or town.  Residents will also be asked to identify a special place in the town to which they feel a strong sense of attachment.


    c)    Physical Living Environment – This segment touches on the physical living experiences of HDB residents. It aims to measure residents’ satisfaction with the various facilities within their HDB estates, as well as their housing preferences and aspirations. Residents will be asked about their usage of various facilities, including commercial, sports and recreational as well as precinct and community facilities. Through their feedback, HDB will gain insights for the design and planning of facilities in HDB towns.


    Beyond the hardware, the survey also seeks to understand the changing lifestyles of HDB residents, in order to better plan facilities to meet their needs. For example, in line with new and evolving trends, residents will be asked whether they have purchased items online recently and whether they have used vehicle sharing services, such as bicycle-sharing and car-sharing.


    Evolving to meet the needs of residents


    4          This year’s survey is the 11th run to be conducted. Over the past five decades, the survey has evolved in tandem with the developments unique to each decade.  While early editions of the survey focused on issues such as resettlement and residents’ adaptation to high-rise living in the 1960s and 1970s, the focus shifted to residents' satisfaction with their living environment in the 1980s and 1990s as high-rise living gained wider acceptance. In the 2000’s, themes on community and livability gained prominence, as the design of public housing became more community-centric.


    The focus of the Sample Household Survey evolved over the decades, in tandem with residents’ changing needs


    5          Over the years, the findings of the surveys have helped to shape the HDB living environment, as seen from the design of new HDB flats, the creation of new community spaces, and the measures to help families live closer together.


    • New Housing Forms

      In the 1960s through to the 2000s, a key focus of the SHS was to gauge residents’ receptiveness and perception towards the then new concept of high-rise living. Survey findings indicated that residents had increasingly warmed up to the concept. The proportion of residents who indicated that they would live on the 12th storey or higher, rose steadily from 13.9% in 1973, to 39.6% in 1993, and 57.9% in 2003. Noting the increasing trend, residents were asked in 2013 about the tallest block that they were prepared to live in. Close to a third of the residents (31.9%) indicated they were prepared to live in blocks of 40- to 50-storey and higher, of which half of them (49.5%) indicated that 31- to 40-storey and above, was their preferred range of storeys to live on. These findings paved the way for HDB to include taller housing typologies in new projects, which also freed up more land for greenery and other communal spaces.


    • Community Living Rooms

      The SHS also shed light on how residents were interacting with their neighbours. Findings from the surveys showed that increasingly, neighbourly interactions were occurring at the lift lobbies and void decks, with the proportion rising from 41.6% in 2008 to 44.7% in 2013. This led to the introduction of community living rooms in all new HDB projects from 2014. These spaces were introduced to create a welcoming space for residents, encouraging social interaction and bonding among neighbours within the block.


    Residents can mingle and chat at the community living rooms on the ground level at SkyVille @ Dawson


    • Helping extended families live together or close by

      Through the years, the SHS has gathered feedback on residents’ living arrangements in relation to their parents or married children. Findings showed that the proportion of young married residents living near or with their parents has increased over time, from 31.4% in 2003 to 36.7% in 2013. There was a strong correlation between proximity and the frequency of visits between children and parents, with the latter increasing with closer proximity.


      In recognition of the important role that living arrangements play in facilitating mutual care and support, HDB has put in place measures such as the Multi-Generation Priority Scheme and enhanced Married Child Priority Scheme in 2012 (Married Child Priority Scheme was converted from chance-based to quota-based in 2014), and launched 3-Generation Flats in 2013. HDB also introduced the Senior Priority Scheme and the Proximity Housing Grant in 2015 (with enhancements to the Proximity Housing Grant in 2018) to further encourage parents and married children to live with or near each other.


    6          The SHS 2018 is on-going and targeted to conclude in 3rd quarter this year.  Residents who are invited to participate in the surveys are encouraged to share their views actively and play a part in shaping their home and community.  The results for SHS 2018 are estimated to be ready by early 2020.