A History of HDB Housing Units

A History of HDB Housing Unit When purchasing flats sold by the Housing and Development Board in Singapore, there are several factors that you need to take care of. However, we first have to define what HDB is and what it does. HDB, which is under the Ministry of National Development provides for the public’s housing needs in Singapore, which is also subsidized by the citizens there as well. With the persistent existence of slums and squatters area, it was in 1960s when they started to move the residents into more decent, state built, low cost housing units.


When Singapore was granted the privilege of self governance, there was immediately the shortage problem in housing.  In order to address this issue, the Housing and Development Act of 1960 was passed by the government and HDB was formed to replace the Singapore Improvement Trust. It was Lim Kim San who led the starting stages of formation which aimed to build a good quantity of low cost housing units up to what their capacity can manage.

Whereas the Five-Year Plan was made known to the public around this time, the said units were specifically made for the benefit of those who had low incomes and needed places to stay in and possibly rent at. Despite the challenges, there were 54, 430 housing units that were built from the formation in 1960 to 1965. The choosing of high density and high rise flats was only logical because there were obvious land constraints.

A manifesto was set out by the Singapore government and HDB’s policies were of the same aims and the same thinking. It has been said that through this new scheme in housing, social cohesion and patriotism was promoted, probably because it addressed the needs of the low income group, giving them a chance at life. For whatever purpose it served and benefitted, HDB is still currently on to this project. Now going back to the 1990s, it was then that they added more features to better their services.

For example, older flats that existed earlier than others were upgraded to come to terms with the newer ones and new facilities were installed like lifts that act as elevators for the ease of transport to every floor. Meanwhile, while there were indeed senior citizens who also needed assistance, studio apartments were built for them. Soon enough, young professionals or working singles started occupying them as well as they deemed it fit for their situation.


Not everyone can be immediately accommodated with these privileges, and this is evident with the HDB rule that pushed forth for the requirement of obtaining an HDB Loan Eligibility Letter by potential flat buyers. The said letter will contain the following information: maximum amount of money that can be borrowed (which will be determined by the purpose of the loan), the period in which the repayment will be made and how much will be paid for every monthly installment.

What’s the purpose of such additional steps? It is to ensure that people who are hunting houses would have a better grasp of the state of their finances before shelling out money. It is with a good household budget that they will surely know what their current expenses are and what kind of flat they can afford or up to how much they can pay for a long term goal such as a house. Money isn’t easy to earn thus it is wise to let buyers do the work of ensuring that they can handle this big of a commitment.

When doing the application and when you are ready to submit, you can do so online for your convenience. Meanwhile, after that you should have the form printed and signed by yourself. All the required documents should also be gathered and readied at this point. Once everything is there, you can proceed to the submission of everything to HDB, and make sure to do this within the week in which the application is dated.