In Goh Keng Swee's time
Those were hard times. People lived in tiny cubicles, many people inside a room, one room for a family and often more than a family, with share common kitchens and toilets. Goh Keng Swee went out to move these people to HDB flats, where a family or maybe an extended family could live in a flat of 3 rm or 4rm. The strange thing then was that no one ever mumbled or complained that the flats were expensive or not affordable. That was a non issue. The flats were simply affordable. No argument, no need to put one's foot down to insist anyway. Today, the flats are affordable, still. Because the govt said so. But the people don't think so. And the argument is pissing off a lot of buyers who could not afford the flats. But they have to accept the govt's argument that the flats are indeed affordable. That settles the argument though deep inside the people's heart they knew that the flats are very expensive and very unaffordable to some. And it is still an outstanding issue that is going round and round. This is the real difference between the govt of Goh Keng Swee's time and the govt of today. They did what was necessary and what was right, and the people believed and were grateful to the govt. And no need to argument until the face turns green, with statistics, when deep down the people knew what is and what is not affordable. Housing was a success story. Can't really say of the present as the consequences of high prices will only tell some way down the road. Buying a flat then was a happy thing, a roof over the head. Today, buying a flat comes with a big debt and big worries. PS. I am talking about buying a HDB flat. Buying private or landed property is a happy thing. The buyer will simply plonked down his millions in cash. No need to worry about big mortgages to pay.