In a bid to maintain the character of Singapore's heartlands, the Ministry of National Development (MND) has agreed to impose a cap on the number of flats sublet to foreigners in HDB blocks, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan in a recent blog post.
But he remains mindful of the need to balance the impact on those who rely on subletting for additional income, particularly the elderly.
To date, there is no limit on the number of flats sublet to foreigners in HDB blocks.
MP Foo Mee Har had earlier in Parliament suggested a 10 percent cap on the number of flats that could be sublet to foreigners in every HDB block. She also shared her concerns about foreigner enclaves forming in HDB estates.
In concurring with Ms Foo, Mr Khaw said the cap is needed to “maintain the Singaporean character of the heartlands”.
He also revealed that HDB analysis on the current subletting situation showed that less than four percent of HDB flats are sublet to foreigners, excluding Malaysians.
But the study also revealed that the proportion could go up to nine percent in some areas or even 18 percent in some blocks.
Currently, only Singapore citizens and PRs can purchase HDB flats. However, foreigners can rent rooms or an entire flat.