Mumbai: If the Maharashtra government adopts the Singapore government's housing and development board (HDB) model, then Mumbai will be slum-free and each Mumbaikar will get an affordable house in the next ten years, said housing experts.
During this correspondent's recent visit to that country, the Singapore board said they were able to give government-constructed houses to nine people out of ten. “The Housing and Development board provides public houses at affordable rates to couples whose income is below $10,000 Singapore dollars. We provide one BHK to 3 BHK apartments. And, one person can own only one house in HDB scheme. The person earning more than $10,000 Singapore dollars can buy a house in private projects. Besides that, the government provides housing loans at 1% interest rate. Thus we ensure that all Singapore residents will get their own roof over their heads,” said Rohaiza Hamid, senior assistant director with public communications division of the Singapore government.
Hamid said that earlier, most of the housing colonies were filthy and surrounded with slums. “But with determination and vision, we removed all slums systematically over a period of time. Before demolishing slums, we shifted people into their own houses provided by the government. Now, Singapore is a slum-free country and each person owns a house.”
Pankaj Kapoor, managing director of Liases Foras told dna that the Maharashtra government should follow the Singapore model to give a house to each Mumbaikar. “If it can work in Singapore, then why not in Mumbai. The property rates in Mumbai are rising, and as a result the slums are increasing. And, the rise in slums is causing various health and infrastucture problems,” said Kapoor.
An HDB official told dna that Singapore bats for sustainable development and housing. “In the government housing complexes, adequate space has been kept for various community activities and even playgrounds for children. Besides, in our new housing projects, we have used solar power so that their electricity bills get cut drastically,” he said.