What is happening?
Last week l lamented SMRT going again into retail after having been told that they should stick to their core business of public transport.
Then l read in the ST A2 Dec that HDB has allowed private contractors to price its EC flats at sky high prices. I quote from the article. “Tampines EC ‘presidential suite’ to be priced at $2.05m.”
Public housing must always be affordable. EC housing is to serve the sandwich class Singaporeans who cannot afford private housing. This is the right move. Also allowing private developers to build is not a bad idea. It provides work for private sector and they introduce different concepts and designs. However they must not be given a free hand. There must be control over their work and expectations.
The reason is very simple. The land they tendered is subsidised. They are building subsidised housing for the government and because of this there must be conditions and responsibility.
I therefore agree with ST Forum writer Daniel SIM when he wrote in ST forum Dec 27
“The free market should not be given a free rein to decide on its own, how big housing units ought to be. This is because the profit motive gets in the way of public welfare”
How very true and well said. HDB must stick to its core purpose of providing EC housing for the sandwich class Singaporeans and not encourage private developers building 4,349 sq ft ‘presidential’ suite as reported. Subsidising a 2 million dollar flat? That could have been 3 units to alleviate the supply crunch!
This is another unwise move.