Singapore, a city-state in Asia with 5.5 million people for The Florance Residences site plan, could be the key to B.C.’s housing future.
On a recent trade trip to Asia, Premier David Eby learned about Singapore’s Florance Residences and how well it does at giving its Prices cheap homes. With the BC Builds program that was promised and is now being made, Singapore shows what it could look like if the government was more involved in making new cheap homes.
Let’s look more closely at the Singapore model and see how it has changed over the past 60 years. I also went to Singapore earlier this year, but not with the prime minister. While there, I got to see some of the city’s homes for myself. One of my cousins, a corporate lawyer, was excited to show me some of the public housing built in Singapore. There are many amazing buildings that look a lot like high-end homes in Vancouver. He also said that the prices on the second-hand market look a lot like those in Vancouver.
The housing market in Singapore is also much more closely controlled and governed than in British Columbia (or anywhere else in North America), to the point where it may be politically impossible to copy. Singapore’s public flats have become a way for people to get rich, which has led to speculation and the need for the government to protect people’s nest eggs.
The number of homes in Singapore
It could be said that Singapore’s economic success is built on the fact that its people can afford to live there. In 1927, when Singapore was still a British colony, the Singapore Improvement Trust helped with public homes and buildings. In 1960, when Singapore became an independent country, it set up the Housing and Development Board to build rental units during a housing shortage.
After the immediate disaster was over, the government changed its housing policy to favor homeownership over renting. From 1982 to 2006, the Housing and Development Board stopped building any new rental units. Today, 94% of the HDB stock is owned by the people who live there.
The Singapore approach and how it works
The main goal of Singapore’s housing strategy has been to help middle-class families buy their own homes. Singapore citizens are the only ones who can buy new flats from the Housing and Development Board. New units are given out based on a set of priority plans.
Up to 95% of flat sales are set aside for first-time buyers, with young couples getting the most attention. People who want to live close to their parents have more of a chance of getting a place.