What if HDB bungled?
According to Mah Bow Tan, the following are myths. 1. There are not enough HDB flats to meet demand 2. HDB flats are unaffordable 3. PRs push prices 4. Private property owners push up prices 5. Subletting of HDB flats is rampant. The above are reported in the ST today. And he gave his reasons to dismiss them as myths. So I will add them into my column as myths of Singapore. The following facts are either quoted from official sources or are well knowned, or maybe perceived wrongly. 1. In 2008, there were 79,200 new PRs and 20,500 new citizens. 2. In 2009, the numbers were 59,500 and 19,900 respectively. 3. Our population has increased by more than a millionn in the last decade. 4. Property prices are shooting to the sky with HDB flats tripling their values in less than the recent 10 years. 5. Mah Bow Tan said he was caught by surprise of the strong demand in properties. 6. HDB is scurrying to build more flats with 13,500 last year and another 12,000 this year. All these will take another 3 or 4 years to be ready. How many flats did HDB built in the last 5 years? Has HDB bungled in the supply and demand of public housing for the people in the last 10 years? I think the official answer is no. Then why the unhappiness especially among young and new home owners? Myth? During the tight supply of flats and surging demand caused by high population growth, have there been young people who failed to get their flats over these years and were booted out of the public housing system because their combined income went past the $8,000 ceiling imposed by HDB? If there are, is it their fault or HDB's fault? These young people are now caught in a dilemma, disqualified from HDB and not rich enough to pay for private properties. So how? Would they be pissed off with the HDB and the govt? The answer will come in the next General Election if their housing needs are not solved by then. Maybe their needs are just a myth and all will still be voting happily for the PAP. Maybe not. Only the result will tell the true story. In the meantime Mah Bow Tan can stick to his position and fight his election in Tampines, and win.