Fri, Feb 25, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Public housing prioritized: Hau

SINGAPORE MODEL:Mayor Hau Lung-bin inspected a public housing estate in Singapore, where 82% of people live in public housing, with 95% owning their properties

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff Reporter, in SINGAPORE

The Pinnacle@Duxton is the tallest public housing development in Singapore with its unique features, including sky gardens and sky
bridges, winning international design awards. Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin yesterday pledged to learn from the country’s example and build high-quality public housing projects in Taipei.

Photo: Mo Yan-chih, Taipei Times

The Taipei City Government will suspend any sales of city-owned land and buildings, and prioritize the use of lands and buildings for public housing projects, Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) said yesterday.

Hau, concluding his inspection tour of public housing in Singapore by visiting a major public housing estate, said Taipei would learn from Singapore’s experience of building a large number of public housing units and hold an international architectural competition to obtain the best design ideas for high-quality public housing estates.

“The public housing estate we visited today is a high quality complex with an award-winning design, an eco-friendly infrastructure and a great living environment. We are determined to offer such high-quality public housing estates in Taipei,” Hau said after visiting the Pinnacle@Duxton housing estate.

The estate, which comprises seven blocks and 1,848 apartments, is the tallest public housing development in Singapore at 50 storys high.

It is a signature public housing estate that was proposed by former Singaporean prime ninister Lee Kuan Yew (李光耀) in 2001, and the government invited international designers to complete the circuit board-like blocks with unique design features, including sky bridges and sky gardens.

According to the city-state’s Housing & Development Board (HDB), each unit in the estate measures about 90m2 to 103m2, and is sold to eligible applicants at a price of between S$290,000 (US$ 226,669) and S$650,000.

Under the government policy of offering affordable housing to every citizen, about 82 percent of Singaporeans live in public housing units, with 95 percent owning the properties.

Hau said the public housing units in Taipei would only be available for rental, as the city government aimed to offer reasonable rental housing to those who do not have the means to purchase property.

Offering subsidies to rental residents and increasing their ability to purchase properties in Taipei remained the ultimate goal of the city government, he added.

The city intends to provide 181 public housing units located near new MRT stations for rent this year, including Xingtian Temple Station, Xianse Temple Station and Sindian Station. As with the existing Yuanshan project, rent will be about 80 percent of the average paid in the area.

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