hdb board

HDB board


The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is a specialist agency in Singapore that is responsible for public housing development. The HDB Board plays a crucial role in providing affordable and quality homes to the citizens, ensuring sustainable town planning, and fostering community development.

Purpose of the HDB Board

The main objective is to ensure that every Singaporean has access to affordable housing options. By developing and maintaining public housing estates, the HDB aims to create an inclusive society where residents can live comfortably, build strong communities, and enjoy a high standard of living.

Key Functions of the HDB Board

Public Housing Development: The HDB plans, designs, constructs, and manages residential developments across Singapore. These developments include both public rental flats for low-income families and subsidised build-to-Order (BTO) flats for middle-income households.

Town Planning: The HDB undertakes comprehensive town planning to ensure efficient land use and sustainable development. It strategizes the allocation of land for residential areas while considering factors like transportation connectivity, amenities provision, green spaces, and infrastructure development.

Estate Management: Once residential estates are completed, the HDB takes charge of estate management activities such as maintenance of common areas like parks and playgrounds, managing social facilities like community centres, and organising neighbourhood events to promote bonding among residents.

Homeownership Support: The HDB provides various homeownership schemes aimed at making housing more affordable for citizens. These include grants for first-time homebuyers (such as the Enhanced CPF Housing Grant), financing schemes with lower interest rates (like the Home Protection Scheme), and lease buyback programmes for seniors who wish to monetize their flats without moving out.

Upgrading Programmes: To continually improve living standards within older housing estates or towns developed several decades ago by adding modern facilities or enhancing existing infrastructure, the HDB runs upgrading programmes. These programmes target areas like lift upgrading, improving accessibility for elderly and disabled residents, or enhancing the estate's overall aesthetic appeal.

Collaboration and governance

It collaborates closely with other government agencies, such as the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), the Building and Construction Authority (BCA), and the Ministry of National Development (MND). This collaboration ensures coherent planning efforts and effective management of Singapore's housing landscape.

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) is an integral part of Singapore's public housing system. By providing affordable homes, sustainable development planning, and community-focused initiatives, the HDB contributes significantly to creating a livable environment for Singaporeans. Its commitment to ensuring that every citizen has access to quality housing has helped secure Singapore's reputation as a model city for inclusive urban living.

HDB Board Policies


Introduction to HDB Board Policies

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) is the main public housing authority in Singapore. It provides affordable and quality homes for thousands of Singaporeans. As part of its role, the HDB establishes and enforces various policies that govern the ownership, use, and management of HDB flats. These policies play a crucial role in maintaining a harmonious living environment and ensuring a fair allocation of resources.

Key Policies Implemented by the HDB Board

Eligibility Criteria: The HDB has specific criteria for individuals or families seeking to purchase or rent an HDB flat. Factors considered include citizenship status, household income, family nucleus composition, age restrictions for singles buying a resale flat, etc.

Flat Allocation System: The Flat Allocation System ensures that the allocation of new flats is done fairly and transparently based on prevailing rules such as balloting exercises, proximity quotas for families living near their parents, children, or siblings, ethnic integration policy (EIP), etc.

Resale Policies: For those looking to buy or sell an existing flat in the resale market, several policies are in place to maintain affordability and prevent speculation. This includes restrictions on eligibility periods before selling or buying another property (the minimum occupancy period), cash overvaluation limits affecting CPF usage or cash payment during transactions, enhanced CPF Housing Grants eligibility conditions and amounts based on income levels, household sizes, and the nature of applicants' backgrounds (first-time applicants, second-time applicants, non-citizen spouses, and singles), and the Ethnic Integration Policy and Singapore Permanent Resident Quota with regard to minority-majority racial ratios within each neighbourhood or cluster.

Renovation Guidelines: The HDB regulates renovation activities conducted by homeowners to ensure safety standards are met, prevent any structural damage to flats, and minimise inconvenience to neighbours during construction works.

Subletting Regulations: Owners who sublet their HDB flats must adhere to various rules such as flat type eligibility, maximum allowable rental period, subletting of whole flats or rooms only to Singaporeans, Malaysian citizens, non-citizens, and within allowable relationships (e.g., immediate family members), etc.

Essential Maintenance Service Fee (EMSF): The EMSF is a monthly fee payable by HDB homeowners for maintenance works and upgrades done by the Town Councils, ensuring that common areas and facilities within the precinct are well-maintained.

Home Improvement Programme (HIP): HIP assists residents in upgrading essential infrastructure components within ageing flats, such as old water pipes and electrical wiring systems; improving sanitary fixtures, toilets, drainage systems, and assets; and upgrading  neighbourhood shops and estate amenities where applicable. HIP helps maintain the living environment's quality while extending the lease period of older flats.

Lease Buyback Scheme (LBS): This scheme allows elderly flat owners to monetize their properties' remaining lease tenure while continuing to live in them comfortably. It helps provide additional retirement funds by selling part of the flat's remaining lease back to HDB.

Understanding and adhering to policies are essential for all Singaporeans living in or planning to own an HDB flat. These policies ensure fair allocation of public housing resources and promote community integration, integrity, security, safety, and well-being while maintaining affordability and sustainably managing our national housing stock for generations to come. Familiarising oneself with these policies will enable individuals and families to make informed decisions about housing options based on their needs and circumstances.

HDB Board Policies: Housing Policies



HDB (Housing and Development Board) is the main housing authority in Singapore. Established in 1960, the HDB plays a crucial role in providing affordable and quality public housing for Singaporeans. Over the years, the HDB has implemented various policies to ensure sustainable and inclusive urban development. In this overview, we will explore some of the key policies introduced to regulate housing in Singapore.

Public housing and eligibility criteria

One of the primary objectives of HDB's policies is to ensure that every citizen has access to affordable housing. The majority of Singaporeans live in public housing apartments called HDB flats. These flats are offered at subsidised prices, making homeownership more attainable for households with different income levels.

To be eligible to purchase an HDB flat, certain criteria must be met. These criteria include citizenship requirements, family nucleus composition (such as married couples or families living together), age restrictions, and income ceilings based on household size.

Financing Options: CPF Usage and Housing Loans

To facilitate homeownership among citizens, the HDB provides several financing options. One such option is Central Provident Fund (CPF) usage. CPF is a mandatory savings scheme where a portion of an individual's salary is reserved for retirement, healthcare, education, or housing purposes. Citizens can use their CPF funds to finance part of their flat purchase or monthly mortgage payments.

Additionally, HDB offers various home loan packages tailored for different needs and financial capabilities. Buyers can choose between fixed-rate or adjustable-rate loans with convenient repayment periods.

Resale market policies

Specific policies that aim to ensure fairness and prevent speculative activity regulate resale transactions within the public housing market.

Under these policies:

There are minimum occupancy periods before homeowners can sell their flats.

Sellers must obtain approval from relevant authorities before completing a sale.

Ethnic integration policies prevent clustering in certain neighbourhoods, promoting racial harmony and diversity.

Rental Housing: Public Rental Flats

For lower-income families who are unable to afford homeownership, it provides rental housing options known as public rental flats. These flats are offered at highly subsidised rates and cater to those facing financial difficulties or other extraordinary circumstances. Eligibility criteria consider factors such as income, family situation, and the availability of alternative housing options.

Enhancing Livability and Sustaining Communities

The HDB prioritises enhancing livability within their estates. They achieve this through various community-centric programmes and initiatives, including:

Building facilities like parks, playgrounds, sports centres, and community clubs to encourage social interactions among residents.

Implementing sustainability measures such as green spaces, energy-efficient buildings, smart technologies, and water-saving systems.

Promoting neighbourhood bonding through events organised by Residents' Committees (RCs) and grassroots organisations.

Upgrading Programmemes: Home Improvement Programme and HIP II

To ensure that HDB flats remain well-maintained over the years, several upgrading programmes have been introduced. The Home Improvement Programme (HIP) focuses on essential improvements for ageing estates, like structural repairs or electrical rewiring. It also includes optional enhancements chosen by flat owners at their own cost.

HIP II was introduced in recent years to provide additional upgrading options for older estates built in the 1980s. This programme offers improvement works such as the replacement of external wall tiles or the installation of elderly-friendly fittings.

Their policies play a vital role in Singapore's public housing sector by ensuring affordable homes for citizens while promoting sustainable urban development. These policies regulate eligibility criteria for purchasing an HDB flat, provide financing options through CPF usage and home loans, govern resale transactions to maintain fairness in the market, offer rental housing options for lower-income families, and include various initiatives aimed at improving livability within HDB estates. Additionally, upgrading programmes like HIP and HIP II ensure that the ageing HDB flats remain well-maintained and meet the changing needs of their residents.

HDB Board Challenges and Opportunities


HDB (Housing and Development Board) is Singapore's public housing authority, responsible for the planning and development of affordable housing for its citizens. As with any large organisation, the HDB faces a range of challenges as well as opportunities in fulfilling its mission. In this overview, we will explore some of these challenges and opportunities.


Rising demand: With Singapore's growing population and urbanisation, there is an increasing demand for housing units. The challenge lies in efficiently meeting this rising demand while ensuring affordability and maintaining quality standards.

Land scarcity: Singapore has limited land resources, making it crucial to optimise land use. The HDB needs to identify suitable locations for new housing developments or enhance existing ones without compromising on factors like accessibility and amenities.

Ageing infrastructure: Some older HDB estates built several decades ago may require upgrading or rejuvenation due to wear and tear over time. The challenge is to prioritise such efforts while minimising disruptions to residents.

Urban planning: Ensuring proper urban planning is essential for creating livable communities within HDB estates. This includes factors like well-connected transportation networks and accessibility to amenities such as schools, healthcare facilities, parks, and shopping centres.

Environmental sustainability: As part of national efforts towards sustainability and reducing carbon footprints, the HDB must incorporate eco-friendly features into their designs and promote energy-efficient practices among residents.


Smart technology integration: Embracing smart city solutions can bring numerous benefits for HDB estates, including improved energy management through smart grids, intelligent waste management systems that optimise collection routes based on real-time data analysis, and smart home automation that offers convenience to residents while conserving resources.

2. Community-building initiatives: The HDB can leverage community spaces within estates to foster social interactions among residents by organising events or providing platforms where neighbours can connect with each other. This helps build a sense of belonging and promotes stronger community ties.

Enhanced connectivity: The HDB can capitalise on advancements in digital infrastructure to provide seamless connectivity within estates, offering high-speed internet access, smart home services, and enabling remote working capabilities.

Green spaces and recreational facilities: Creating more green spaces, parks, and recreational facilities within HDB estates provides residents with opportunities for exercise, relaxation, socialising, and promoting mental well-being.

Affordability initiatives: The HDB has the opportunity to continue implementing various affordable housing schemes targeted at different income groups to ensure that housing remains accessible to all segments of society.

In conclusion, while the HDB faces challenges such as rising demand for housing and limited land resources, there are also ample opportunities for it to leverage technology integration, community building initiatives, enhanced connectivity options, and sustainability measures to enhance the quality of life in HDB estates. By addressing these challenges strategically while capitalising on the available opportunities, the HDB can continue providing affordable and comfortable homes for Singapore's citizens.

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