HDB Estates

Singapore has 27 HDB Estates. Each estate has its own history, story, and interesting facts.

HDB History and Towns

The story of Singapore’s public housing started with The Housing and Development Board taking over from its predecessor, the Singapore Improvement Trust. Overcoming difficulties and persevering through challenges, HDB has since built public housing in Singapore as a standard of excellence. 

Early Blueprint

In 1960, Singapore faced a housing crisis. With only 9% of Singaporeans living in government flats, there are many others lived in unhygienic slums and crowded squatter settlements. 

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) was thus established on 1 February 1960, with its primary task is to solve Singapore’s housing crisis. Quick into action, HDB had built 21,000 housing flats in a brief span of less than 3 years, and 2 years afterward, 54,000 more flats were completed. Within just a brief span of 10 years, HDB had successfully solved the housing crisis.

Supporting Pillars

HDB implemented a sound public housing strategy that was based on 3 crucial fundamentals: 

  • Sole Agency Concept

​​Sole Agency Concept allows HDB to administer the public housing solely enabling more effective resource planning and allocation. As being sole agency with the advantages of economies of scale, it made it possible to secure the land, construction materials, and manpower for large-scale construction at low cost.

  • A total approach to housing

As HDB was then the planner, designer, land assembly, and also in charge of the construction, the housing task was seamless through allocation, management, and maintenance.

  • Support from Government 

With political, legislative, and financial support from the government, HDB could overcome any obstacle that came along in issue such as land acquisition, which made housing the nation that much smoother a journey.

The Neighbourhood Concept

HDB built a town centre at the heart of every HDB town which serves as the important commercial and activity hub. Approximately 4,000 to 6,000 of residential units surround the town centre in smaller neighbourhoods. Each has its own shops, schools, and integrated facilities. The neighbourhoods, in turn, consist of precincts about 400 to 800 residential flats, with shops and precinct facilities, such as playgrounds, fitness corners, and community gardens.

Hierarchy of Facilities

Facilities at the town, neighbourhood, and precinct levels complement one another. They are distributed based on a hierarchical concept that offers residents proximity to a variety of amenities. Facilities within the precinct and neighbourhood take care of most of residents’ day-to-day needs. Facilities catering to a wider range of needs, such as shopping malls, supermarkets, departmental stores, and restaurants are built in the town centres. Recreational and social facilities that serve a wider catchment of residents such as sports complexes, libraries and community clubs are also provided at the town level.

Planning for Connectivity

Towns are planned in cohesion with extensive transport infrastructure, including cycling, and pedestrian networks, for convenience and connectivity. Every HDB block has access to a bus stop or MRT/ LRT station, which makes it convenient for commuting within the estate and also the rest of Singapore. In most towns, the town centre also served as an integrated hub or public transportation, where the MRT station and bus interchange are located adjacent to each other.

Checkerboard Concept

Checkerboard concept means that within each town, in between high-rise residential developments, there is an interspersing of low-rise developments such as schools, parks and community buildings. This concept helps to provide visual and spatial relief throughout the town for a pleasant living environment. Community facilities are also evenly distributed in the town for better accessibility for all residents.

More 85% of population stays in HDB flats

Having completed more than 1 million flats, HDB is now home to more than 85% of Singapore’s population, across 27 estates. Each estate has its own history, story and interesting facts. Discover each estate below for:

  • Facts and figures on the HDB resident population
  • How each estate has evolved through the years
  • Entertainment, food, schools, parks, and shops in each town
  • Average HDB Resale Flat price from 1-Room to Multi-Generation flat in each town

Have any questions about HDB estates in Singapore or are looking to purchase a property in a specific estate?