We all have list of favorite songs. I am sure Taarein hai baarati is in the favorite list of almost everyone. Originally it is an Andean folk music. Andean music is a group of styles of music from the Andes region in South America. Original […]
About 125 years ago, a Parsi banker wanted to have home-cooked food in his office and hired someone to collect it from his home and bring it to him at work. He was the first ever Dabbawala or tiffin carrier. Many people liked the idea […]
From an economically and socially under-developed country to one of the world’s best nations, Singapore has come a long way. Lacking in natural minerals and resources, it drew its strength from being a “stable and progressive economy” to drive more foreign direct investments and private investments. The country and everything that it is today reflects public-private sector partnerships and investment in innovation and security, among other things. During its transformative journey, one of the many challenges that the city-state faced was housing for its people — this was when the government decided to step in. Government housing served two purposes: it gave Singaporeans a sense of ownership towards their country, where their family and friends lived, and also a reason for them to stay in their country and serve it.
In land-scarce Singapore, it can be hard to strike a balance between heritage preservation and necessary urban development. However, the city-state has undertaken long-term strategic planning to optimise depleting resources like land, manpower and energy. What they’ve also achieved by this means, is eradicating homeslessness.
When one hears of public housing, one imagines grimy stairwells, peeling, seepage-infested walls, unloved and uncared for public spaces — but these do not hold true when it comes to Singapore. For over 50 years now, Singapore has been transforming public housing — from basic concrete blocks to shiny and slick high-rises. Singapore started its mass public housing project in the 1940s, led by the Singapore Improvement Trust, which by 1959 had built more than 20,000 flats. When the former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew rose to power towards the end of the 1950s, he built 30,000 more flats in less than three years. And today, the authorities say there are a more than a million.
In 1964, the government introduced the Home Ownership for the People Scheme to give citizens a tangible asset in the country and a stake in nation-building. This push for home ownership also improved the country’s overall economic, social, and political stability. In 1968, to help more citizens become home owners, the government allowed the use of Central Provident Fund (CPF; the equivalent of India’s Employer’s Provident Fund) savings for the down payment, and to service the monthly mortgage loan installments. This, together with other schemes and grants introduced over the years, has made home ownership highly affordable, say officials at the Housing and Development Board in Singapore.
The government, which owns 90 percent of the land, promoted widespread home ownership to knit together an island-nation populated by ethnic Chinese, Indians and Malays. The vast housing system shocks visitors from every nation — it is clean, peaceful, crime-free and every three to five years undergoes a redesigning drive and at times, re-modelling. The public homes of Singapore use the technology and innovation at their service to build lives around them and remind some of the homes built across the US and Europe in the ’60s.
The Housing and Development Board of Singapore conceptualise towns: an example of this is Toa Payoh. A “mature” residential town located in the northern part of Singapore, Toa Payoh is the granddaddy of the towns in Singapore. Home to at least 1,07,100 residents in 37,358 flats, the Toa Payoh town got Singapore’s first Mass Rapid Transit. “These aren’t just neighbourhoods, they are their own little cities, you see,” said a resident on condition of anonymity. “Super markets, restaurants, banks, drinking holes, schools, gardens, lakes… you name it, you have it. All of that is just a short bus ride away. So, it doesn’t matter how far you live from the Central business district. And there is no crime.”
Going further north on the Tanjong Punggol peninsula in the North East Region of Singapore, is Punggol, a quiet, green suburb lined with lakes which is now HDB’s newest township. It’s is also touted to be Singapore’s mini Silicon Valley. Punggol will become the heart of digital and cyber-security industries and is set to create 28,000 new jobs in tech and Information Technology.
As of 2018, there are about a million public homes in Singapore largely concentrated in two dozen new towns which helm the city’s coastal zone. All the homes come with a 99-year lease which are sold at lower-than-market prices. Applicants must wait three or four years for the construction to be completed.
Singapore has no homelessness and compared to other rich cities — London, New York, Hong Kong — HDB homes are more affordable, cleaner and safer. The deal works for the state too. According to reports, in 2015-16 the treasury put aside S$1.8 billion, or 2.4 percent of the national budget, for housing, which was enough to cover HDB’s annual deficit. HDB’s budget was $17 billion and it benefits from government loans but also borrows from banks and the bond market. People’s Action Party, which has been running the country for over five decades, has its housing scheme to thank for its political longevity.
Every Singaporean feels the need to play a social role, a resident shopping at the Waterway Point, an upcoming shopping centre in Punggol said. Owning a home, being part of the nation that they help build, supports the government’s agenda of nation built by their own, a great deal. However, strict rules about who can buy a house and government’s use of control to decide how an average Singaporean lives their life, raises several questions. Married couples are granted priority to own a home, a clause justified to raise country’s low birth rate. Those who are single can apply for their own flats but only if they are still unmarried by the age of 35.
This visit was facilitated by The Singapore International Foundation
Original Post link: Firstpost World News
Catch-22 is a tragicomic novel specifying the efforts of a man named Yossarian, a captain in the US Army Air Force, to avoid flying any more combat missions. The novel takes place on Pianosa, a small Italian island, during the Second World War. At first he tries […]
The story of Rani and Wahida Textile workers in slums Rani’s family lived in one of the peripheral slums of the Basti called Prem Nagar Slums, one of the most deprived precincts and also the most crowded. The average monthly income of a family there […]
The terms “affordable housing” and “public housing” are frequently used interchangeably, causing a lot of confusion in the process. They are actually two very different.
Affordable housing refers to housing units that are affordable by that section of society whose income is below the median household income. Houses are owned by the households. Families buy the homes at affordable prices.
The concept of Public Housing was introduced by the United States government to provide housing for low-income families, disabled persons, and the elderly. These families or persons must meet certain eligibility requirements to participate in the program and may be required to pay a nominal amount of rent. The units are considered public because they are funded, owned, and administered by government authorities.
How Public Housing Transformed New York City 1935-67
Everywhere on the ground lay sleeping natives– hundreds and hundreds. They lay stretched at full length and tightly wrapped in blankets, heads and all. Their attitude and rigidity counterfeited death. – Mark Twain, on a nocturnal drive through Bombay in 1896. The Early History of […]
I came across an old map of Punjab and immediately thought of writing this article. How many people know that who drew this border? The answer is Cyril Radcliffe. The information provided to Cyril Radcliffe who drew the borders and divided India and Pakistan once said […]
The 20th century witnessed death and slaughter on an unprecedented scale. It was the century of the Holocaust and two World Wars; of communist, Nazi, fascist and military dictators who between them killed more than 100 million people.
The casualties of conflicts involving the U.S., the UK and France in Korea, Algeria, Vietnam, the Gulf, Afghanistan and Iraq are excluded on the grounds that, though many would view these as unjust colonial wars by ‘imperialist’ powers, they weren’t fought by dictators.
Indeed, when the wars proved unpopular or unwinnable, they were brought to an end by the pressure of public opinion.
Most popular name in the list mass murderer is Adolf Hitler. But, you will be shocked to know that his name in the world’s mass murderer comes third on the list. Who are the first two people then?
1. MAO ZEDONG
China (1949-76) Regime Communist Victims 60 million
China’s so-called ‘Great Helmsman’ was, in fact, the greatest mass murderer in history. Most of his victims were his fellow Chinese, murdered as ‘landlords’ after the communist takeover, starved in his misnamed ‘Great Leap Forward’ of 1958-61, or killed and tortured in labour camps in the Cultural Revolution of the Sixties. Mao’s rule, with its economic mismanagement and continual political upheavals, also spelled poverty for most of China’s untold millions. The country embraced capitalism long after his death.
2. JOSEPH STALIN
Soviet Union (1929-53) Regime Communist Victims 40 million
Lenin’s paranoid successor was the runner-up to Mao in the mass-murder stakes. Stalin imposed a deliberate famine on Ukraine, killed millions of the wealthier peasants – or ‘kulaks’ – as he forced them off their land, and purged his own party, shooting thousands and sending millions more to work as slaves and perish in the Gulag.
3. ADOLF HITLER
Germany (1933-45) Regime Nazi dictatorship Victims 30 million
The horror of Adolf Hitler’s dictatorship lies in the uniqueness of his most notorious crime, the Holocaust, which stands alone in the annals of inhuman cruelty. It was carried out under the cover of World War II, a conflict Hitler pursued with the goal of obtaining ‘Lebensraum’. The war ended up costing millions of lives, leaving Europe devastated and his Third Reich in ruins.