Group photo at the Forward SG Our Housing Conversation

Forward Singapore (Build Pillar): Building Affordable Homes for Singaporeans

Forward Singapore: Meeting Singaporeans’ Housing Needs

Minister for National Development, Mr Desmond Lee, engaged close to 70 members of the public at the Forward Singapore Our Housing Conversation: Housing for Singles and Second-time Home Buyers on 30 July 2023.

Minister Desmond Lee giving his opening remarks
Minister Desmond Lee giving his opening remarks at the Forward Singapore Our Housing Conversation engagement.

In his opening remarks, Minister Lee spoke about the improving housing situation in Singapore since the pandemic, due to a ramped-up supply of public and private housing, and a stabilising market due to cooling measures.

Minister Lee also shared various policy moves that have been implemented to enhance affordability and accessibility for homebuyers:

Increasing CPF Housing Grant for first-time buyers (families and singles) of HDB resale flats;

Adjusting allocation quotas for BTO exercises to support first-time buyers;

Introducing schemes for second-time buyers with urgent needs, such as ASSIST for divorced and widowed parents with children and the Third Child Priority Scheme for larger families with three or more children.

Forging A New Social Compact on Housing in Singapore

Even as we tackle the current supply-demand imbalance, we also want to plan for the future and partner with Singaporeans to refresh our social compact.


- Minister Desmond Lee on partnering with citizens on housing policies.


More than 16,000 Singaporeans have been engaged as part of MND’s Forward Singapore events since 2022. Minister Lee shared that these conversations gave good insights into Singaporeans’ evolving housing needs and aspirations. Such insights and suggestions have also led to policy changes.

For example, HDB will be introducing the First-Timer (Parents and Married Couples), a new priority category in the upcoming September BTO exercise. In previous Conversations, many participants agreed that young married couples and families needed the most support to settle down and buy their first home. With this new category, first-time home buyers who are parents and/or married couples will have a better chance to secure their first HDB flat.

A participant engaging with his group in a breakout group discussion
Participant Muhammad Tassri engaging with his group in a breakout group discussion.

Ideas that have emerged from the various housing engagements so far, such as a rent-to-own housing model and inter-generational housing, were also discussed during the session. Mr Muhammad Tassri, 27, commented that he felt heartened knowing that the Government is listening and considering Singaporeans’ diverse views and perspectives on housing. Ms Petrina Yuen, 32, who is of the view that everyone, including singles, should be able to own their own home, added that she was glad to be part of the conversation.

Evolving Housing Policies to be remain Responsive to Singaporeans

At the end of his speech, Minister Lee emphasised the need for housing policies to be remain responsive to Singaporeans as society evolves. He also highlighted that with limited land and resources, forward planning was necessary as changes would take a long time to come into fruition.

Minister Desmond Lee listening to a participant sharing his reflections during a group breakout discussion
Minister Desmond Lee listening to a participant sharing his reflections during a group breakout discussion.

Minister Lee also shared about the upcoming Master Plan, which will provide detailed land use and developmental plans for Singapore’s next 10 to 15 years, and encouraged participants to provide their ideas when the Draft Master Plan opens for public feedback later this year.

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