25 March 2017, Singapore

Housing is a basic necessity that provides shelter, security, and safety for people. The provision for housing is identified as one of the basic rights by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. More than 65 years after that declaration, the provision for affordable housing remains a challenge in most countries, particularly those in the developing world and in transition.

In Asia, Singapore is one of the most successful countries to provide affordable homes of quality and value to its citizens. Home ownership is a hallmark of Singapore’s public housing landscape. Through it, citizens are given a stake in their own country, and this has contributed to the country’s social and political stability.

In Thailand, the Government is working on poverty reduction and creating opportunity for low-income

people to access social welfare and affordable housing. The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS) was tasked to implement housing for low-income people (1,707,437 households) under the Housing Development Strategic Plan (2016-2025).

 By 2025, the Thai government aims to provide access to affordable housing for over 2.7 million low income household and develop a network of proper infrastructure and public utility systems.

 MSDHS and the National Housing Authority (NHA) in collaboration with the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) organized a meeting and study visit “Housing Development for Low Income People: Learn from Singapore Experience” on 23-25 March at the Republic of Singapore.

 The main objectives of this activity is to study green space management, regulations, design and construction, community management, housing needs and housing financial aspects and incorporate Singapore solutions relevant to Thailand in NHA strategies, plans, and operations.

This activity is the latest collaboration between NHA and AIT which started in 2014 when NHA Governor inaugurated AIT’s Workshop on Innovative and Cost-effective Solutions for Cleaner, Greener, and

Safer Communities. During the workshop, the Governor conveyed his appreciation to AIT and indicated his support towards advancing the concept of sustainable housing development. Since then, several meetings and technical seminars between NHA and AIT were held to discuss collaborative opportunities focusing on Affordable Housing.

The delegation from Thailand which included high-ranking officials and directors from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Housing Finance Association, National Housing Authority and experts from various organizations joined the study tour in Singapore. They visited the Housing and Development Board (HDB); Building Construction Agency (BCA); National Parks (NParks), and Gardens by the Bay.