My parents never owned a flat. They had been staying in rental flats provided by public housing. These flats were heavily subsidised by the government. Being Singapore citizens, public housing was available to them.
Their first rental flat was built by Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT). SIT was set up by the British colonial government in 1927 to address urbanisation problems and city planning of Singapore. SIT was before Housing and Development Board (HDB) that took on building flats for the population.
My parents stayed in a SIT flat located at Ganges Avenue ever since I was born. It was a three-room flat (2 bedrooms). Address was Block 60 Ganges Avenue #04-44 Singapore 0316. These 4-storey blocks of SIT flats along Ganges Avenue were demolised to make way for new developments back in late 1980s.
HDB allocated a 2-room flat (1 bedroom) at Block 2 Jalan Bukit Ho Swee #04-116 Singapore 0316 to my parents in 1987/88 in place of Ganges Avenue flat. This block of flat was within walking distance from Ganges Avenue except that it sits on elevated grounds from the wet market along Havelock Road. My parents had to walk down and up the steps to reach their block each time they went to the wet market. My parents were not young then and it was difficult for both to do that. My father was 82 years old and my mother was 67 years old in 1992.
On that ground, I helped my parents to apply to HDB for a transfer of flat in 1992. This appeal resulted in my parents moving to another 2-room rental flat at Ghim Moh Road: Block 18 Ghim Moh Road #08-111 Singapore 270018. They stayed there until the end of their lives. My mother stayed in this flat for 25 years, and my father much less.
My parents were citizens of Singapore and one privilege was that they were avail to rental flats from the government at heavily-subsidised rents. We had a roof over our heads when we were growing up. This was crucially important for us for a better life. My parents’ generation rented flats and our current generation owns flats. That was uplifting of wealth in one generation. This is Singapore.
Copyright © 2018, limkimtong for Living Investment