HOUSING PROBLEM? SOLUTION SINGAPORE STYLE
«By the year 2000, every Soviet family will own a flat or a house,» â€“ such was the promise of a communist leader Nikita Khrushchev in the early 1960s. While housing is still the greatest challenge for the Russian government, it is one of Singapore's great success stories. Within less than two decades, over a million people were moved out of slums and into modern high-rise flats, which the majority of them now own.
Part of Singapore's success has been attributed to its excellent management of national institutions, which are run as statutory boards. One of them is the Housing & Development Board (HDB), which has turned out to be one of the most successful public housing projects in the world.
From Villages to a City
Up until 1960 when the HDB was established, the living conditions of most Singaporeans were similar to those of the 19th century â€“ the result of ineffective colonial government. Most of the Asian population of Singapore had been living in kampongs, rural villages with no running water or sanitation facilities, limited supply of electricity, few shops and scarce public transportation.