News: Majority of HDB residents satisfied with flats, neighbourhood, estate facilities

Feb 15, 2021

The survey, which is conducted once every five years, found that 93.2% of respondents were satisfied with their flat, up from 91.6% in 2013.

A latest survey by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) showed that more residents are satisfied with their flat, neighbourhood and estate facilities.

Polling close to 8,000 households across all HDB estates in 2018, the Sample Household Survey (SHS) aims to gather feedback as well as identify emerging trends in public housing. It is conducted once every five years.

The survey found that 93.2% of respondents were satisfied with their flat, up from 91.6% in 2013.

Residents cited attributes like the design and layout of the flat.

“Flat designs today have evolved to include a wide variety of layouts that afford more generous views, natural ventilation and light while providing greater privacy to residents. Satisfaction levels with flats were high across households living in different flat types and residents of all ages,” said HDB.

Households that were not satisfied with their flat faced issues such as ceiling leaks and spalling concrete, which occur in older units.

HDB noted that it would continue “to help flat owners address maintenance issues related to older flats through the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) and Goodwill Repair Assistance (GRA) scheme”.

More residents were also satisfied with their neighbourhood in 2018, at 95.3% versus 2013’s 92%. Among the reasons cited for their satisfaction include convenient location, a peaceful environment and having a friendly neighbour.

In fact, 91.4% of residents were satisfied with HDB’s rejuvenation programs such as the HIP, the Remaking Our Heartland Programme and Neighbourhood Renewal Programme.

Meanwhile, dissatisfied households felt their neighbours were noisy, unfriendly or inconsiderate.

Recommended article: Should You Call the Police or HDB to Deal With Neighbour Disputes?

Within the town, residents cited high satisfaction with the accessibility and walkability to commercial facilities and transport nodes. Moreover, 84.1% of residents were content with their travelling time to work.

“Such sentiments underscore the convenience of self-sufficient HDB towns, with facilities provided at the town, neighbourhood and precinct levels to cater to residents’ daily living,” said HDB.

A bigger proportion of households were satisfied with the estate facilities, increasing to 98.6% in 2018 from 96.1% in 2013.

Of the facilities available at estates, residents were most satisfied with shopping and retail facilities at 97.9%, while commercial facilities like hawker centres and supermarkets continued to be the most utilised.

“However, the usage levels of these facilities had decreased over the past five years, with the exception of supermarkets. In general, the proportion who visited commercial facilities at least once a week had decreased, likely due to the increasing trend of online shopping and food delivery services,” said HDB.

See also: More Fitness Corners and Elderly-Friendly Facilities for Jalan Besar, Choa Chu Kang GRCs

The survey also showed that around four in 10 residents had purchased items online in 2018, with clothing and footwear emerging as the most common products bought online.

A higher proportion of online buyers lived in four-room or larger flats, with the majority of them aged 45 and below and likely coming from families with young children.

Of those who shopped online, close to 50% indicated that they had shopped less at HDB shops and a small proportion said they never patronised HDB shops.

Despite the growing demand for online shopping, HDB noted that “heartland shops continue to play an important role in serving the needs of residents”.

“HDB will continue to support neighbourhood shops in boosting their vibrancy and competitiveness, through schemes such as the Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) scheme to upgrade the common areas of HDB town and neighbourhood centres.”

Almost all residents – including those living in their areas for five years or less – felt a sense of belonging to their towns and estates.

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“Having a sense of belonging is important to the social well-being of the community, as it is often the foundation on which attachment, bonding and pride among residents are built,” said HDB, noting that those who were older and had lived within their town for over 30 years reported stronger sense of belonging.

About 23.2% of residents said they had fond memories of places within their towns. Of these, 30.8% pointed to HDB blocks or precinct facilities as places where they had fond memories, while 22.2% cited parks and gardens.

The survey showed that 96.9% of residents were satisfied with neighbourly relations, “exchanging greetings and engaging in casual conversations”.

HDB explained that while these are considered “less intense forms of interaction, they are equally important in creating connections between diverse networks, as neighbours may be a critical source of help in times of emergency”.

On the other hand, the proportion of residents who faced nuisances from their neighbours dropped to 30% in 2018 from 48.1% in 2013.

The main types of nuisances were noise, littering and smoking at common areas.

The proportion of residents contributing to the community rose to 40.2% in 2018 from 27.1% in 2013. These residents helped keep common areas clean, picked up litter, volunteered and looked after their neighbours.

The survey found that younger residents aged below 35 were more willing to help.

HDB noted that participation in organised community activities fell to 39.1% in 2018 from 48.6% in 2013, suggesting that residents “might prefer to contribute their services to the community in their own time”.

Aside from providing valuable feedback for HDB to enhance flat design, neighbourhoods and HDB estates, the survey’s findings showed “that the physical living environment has contributed to the building of community ties, and residents’ social well-being”.

“Going forward, HDB will continue to keep pace with residents’ evolving needs, and lifestyles. We are also studying how HDB flat designs can support developments in the future of work, including trends that may have been accelerated by the current pandemic, such as telecommuting,” said the Housing Board.

Under a design roadmap launched last year, HDB will plan towns that will contribute to the residents’ overall health and well-being.

“This includes developing smart and sustainable homes, starting with the smart-enabled housing precincts in Punggol Northshore and Tengah, to make daily living more convenient and comfortable for residents.”

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