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Concerns About Housing Affordability Among Issues Raised At First Forward Singapore Public Engagement Session
Nuria Ling | TODAY
September 26th, 2022 | 14:36 PM | 371 views
SINGAPORE — Concerns about housing affordability and the difficulty of securing a Build-to-Order flat were among several issues raised at the Ministry of National Development’s (MND) first Forward Singapore engagement session on Sunday (Sept 25).
Attended by around 180 members of the public from various backgrounds, it was the first of about 20 public engagement sessions and roadshows by the ministry that will run till December.
It was also the first session to be held since the initiative was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong at a dialogue organised by the National Trades Union Congress in June.
Sunday's event, held at the Urban Redevelopment Authority Centre, was attended by youths and the elderly, and had a mix of both Singapore citizens and permanent residents.
The participants were separated into breakout groups, with each consisting of around eight to 10 participants from various demographics.
The media were not allowed into the discussion sessions but TODAY spoke to two people after the event.
Mr Richard Wong, a 65-year-old retiree, said that his group raised concerns about housing affordability and the difficulty of securing a Build-to-Order flat.
Ms Jessica Nagulendran, a social worker in her 20s, said that some of the topics raised during her session include conserving historical estates and helping second-time homeowners live in areas where they have existing relationships with schools and workplaces.
The participants had signed up on a voluntary basis. MND had reached out to various organisations and agencies such as Reach and RSVP Singapore The Organisation of Senior Volunteers to publicise these engagement sessions.
MND also publicised it on its social media channels and platforms.
Minister for National Development Desmond Lee said in his opening address at the event: “I know that what is top of mind for you now are construction delays, waiting times for HDB flats, whether you can get your queue number, affordability of housing, and many other pressing current issues.”
He added that the Government understands these concerns and the Housing and Development Board (HDB) is working hard to manage these issues.
But he explained that while working to address immediate challenges, Singapore also “needs to take stock and look ahead”.
This includes discussing how the social compact on public housing should evolve and change, as well as what the Government’s commitment to Singaporeans on housing is.
“Now this, in turn, will guide us in deciding how to make good use of our very limited land and resources, as we plan and provide for our housing in the many years ahead,” added Mr Lee.
The first roadshow by MND will take place on Oct 8 at Woodlands Civic Centre and other locations include Our Tampines Hub and HDB Hub.
MND will also run a public poll from Oct 8 to Nov 27.
courtesy of TODAY
by CHARLENE GOH
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