By Khoo Fang Xuan | POSTED: 07 Dec 2013 22:02 | CNA


Analysts said HDB’s approvals of subletting of whole flats have tripled in the last six years, resulting in a concentration of foreigners in a block or neighbourhood.

The National Development Ministry is looking at imposing a cap on the percentage of foreigners in HDB flats. This was the result of feedback from residents.

Khoo Swee Yong, CEO of Century 21, said: “Within the last six years, we actually had 30,000 additional flats across the island that were given permission for whole-flat subletting.

“45,000 flats as a total proportion of the HDB stocks in Singapore of over 900,000 is just about five per cent. How that five per cent of HDB flats that are allowed to be sublet could congregate into certain blocks of HDB flats that may have up to, as minister (Khaw Boon Wan) said, 18 per cent foreigners living in those blocks.”

National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan had written about the cap in a blog post on Friday.

Analysts said the restriction will affect companies that hire expats, as HDB flats are a more affordable housing option for foreigners as compared to private housing.

Lee Bee Wah, GPC chair for national development and environment, said: “We need to have this cap perhaps while MND is working out the details. The cap can be based on block level and then neighbourhood level. This is to spread out the foreigners from congregating and forming that enclave.”

– CNA/xq