With HDB flats making the news several times this year due to record-high prices of over $1 million, several Singaporeans have gotten concerned about whether housing will still be affordable for their children.

Some older residents from Serangoon expressed this to Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Leon Perera (Aljunied GRC), who has been representing the ward since 2020. Mr Perera wrote in a Dec 20 Facebook post that when he carried out a pre-Christmas market outreach last weekend at coffee shops at Blk 153A Serangoon North Ave 1 and Blk 214 Serangoon Avenue 4, residents shared what’s been on their minds and hearts.

“Many constituents spoke about the effect that rising prices are having on their lives and peace of mind. Some older constituents also expressed concern about the affordability of housing for their children.”

Mr Perera wrote that the WP “will continue to advance ideas to address these concerns.”

He added that he “was glad to hear many constituents stressing the importance of our continual ground engagement work, which enables us to better understand the concerns of the public, not all of whom express their views through social media.”

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Indeed, WP MPs have raised several housing-related questions throughout the year.

In September, Mr Louis Chua (Sengkang GRC) made a case for lowering BTO eligibility age to 28 for singles but said that the “most pressing issue” is the supply and availability of homes.

The following month, Mr Perera asked questions on what benefits People’s Association (PA) grassroots leaders receive, including priority balloting in applying for BTO flats.

And in November, Mr Chua asked the Minister for National Development about the average number of HDB units that are unoccupied, as well as the percentage of completed HDB units that are unoccupied in each of the past five years to date.

In June, in a Bloomberg interview, Mr Liu Thai Ker, the man behind Singapore’s Housing Development Board, who is also known as “the architect of modern Singapore”, expressed concerns over Singapore’s high property prices.

The average private property now costs about 15 times of median household earnings, which is higher than in New York, London, and San Francisco, Bloomberg noted.

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“I do worry that nowadays, public housing prices is really a business venture than actually solving the housing need.

I feel that the implication may not be very good for the economic development of Singapore,” Mr Liu said. /TISG