The rejuvenation of a nation’s housing: Singapore is once again a global model

Those who have read REVITALIZATION Publisher Storm Cunningham‘s first book, The Restoration Economy (Berrett-Koehler, 2002)—or who have attended one of his talks or workshops—will know that he has long advocated that our global civilization needs accelerate its shift in prefixes from “de” to “re.” That is…

  • from development to redevelopment;
  • from despoilment to remediation;
  • from depletion to replenishment;
  • from demolition to reuse;
  • from destruction to restoration; and
  • from degeneration to regeneration.

In other words, we need to stop being degenerates, and start becoming regenerates.

Here’s what Singapore‘s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the annual National Day Rally (NDR) on August 19, 2018: “We will continue to transform our city … and in 30 to 40 years’ time, we will rebuild our existing towns. HDB (Housing Development Board) will be very busy. They may have to change their name to HRB – the Housing Redevelopment Board.”

PM Lee also announced the expansion of Singapore’s Home Improvement Programme (HIP II), continuation of the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS) and a new Voluntary Early Redevelopment Scheme (VERS).

Together with the new redevelopment focus of the Housing Development Board, these three programs put Singapore on the leading edge of the global housing renewal trend. Of course, the leading edge is where Singapore seems to be most comfortable, so this comes as no surprise.

VERS, SERS and en bloc all involve efforts that rejuvenate neighbourhoods in Singapore. The sum of their effects is to renew Singapore’s housing stock and upgrade residential properties to match home owners’ changing needs.

All three schemes aim at preserving home owners’ housing wealth, by unlocking and partially distributing value from a better use of land back to home owners.

Photo of Singapore via Adobe Stock.

Read a commentary by Sing Tien Foo and Amanda Tang in ChannelNewsAsia.

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