Public housing motion: PAP Govt commits to affordable & accessible public housing for S’poreans present & future

31/01/2023

Affordable, accessible public housing is a vital issue for the PAP Government.

This has been the case since the earliest days of Singapore’s independence and will continue to be for future generations of Singaporeans.

The PAP Government will affirm this long-term commitment during February’s session of Parliament.

This stems from Minister for National Development Desmond Lee filing a Ministerial Motion on Monday (Jan 30) to explain to Singaporeans after a matrix of misleading claims raised repeatedly by the Progress Singapore Party (PSP) about housing.

A sustainable stewardship of resources

Déjà vu? At first glance, yes.

But not really.

“This may sound similar to the motion that NCMPs Ms Hazel Poa Koon Koon and Mr Leong Mun Wai have filed,” posted Senior Minister of State for National Development Sim Ann the same Monday.

“But the two are not really the same,” she clarified.

“Implicit in the PSP’s motion is the claim that the Government has not done enough to deliver affordable and accessible HDB flats, strengthen the owner-occupation intent of public housing, protect retirement adequacy or keep public housing inclusive.

“We disagree with this claim.”

Source: MCI

“Keeping public housing affordable and accessible while protecting the interests of both current and future generations of Singaporeans is what the Government has been dedicated to all along.”

It is a fact that the PAP Government has always planned long-term how best to steward Singapore’s resources.

This without raiding the reserves for the sake of future generations.

“We will once again make this commitment clear to Singaporeans and to Members of the House during the debate. We feel it is better to state the Government’s intent and strategy squarely in a separate motion and debate both together,” said SMS Sim.

A substantive debate

“My colleagues and I look forward to a substantive debate, setting out the Government’s approach towards public housing, debunking spurious claims, and hearing constructive views and suggestions on how we can continue to fulfil the home ownership aspirations of our citizens now and into the future,” added SMS Sim.

“Spurious claims” is apt. The last time there was a Parliamentary debate, SMS Sim had to repeat this twice:

“99 per cent of the flat owners involved in the SERS exercise do not need to top up (cash) to purchase a similar type flat with a full 99-year lease or a similar sized flat on a 50-year lease.”

This so that Mr Leong would cease his problematically-summed claims about the exercise.

It is also an apt reminder that HDB flats are home for over 80 per cent of Singapore’s resident population, of which 90 per cent own their flats.

That, for you, is the PAP track record: always planning for the future to provide accessible and affordable homes for current and future generations of Singaporeans.

It’s not easy, the PAP Government has to balance the current and future generations’ needs. But we hope the Government’s track record of serving and meeting Singaporeans’ aspirations speaks for itself.

Let’s hope Parliamentarians can engage in an honest and constructive housing debate for Singaporeans’ sake.

Cover photo credit: Ivan Yeo/ Unsplash and Parliament of Singapore/ Facebook