Housing poverty in Singapore

  • Individuals served in 2016: 1,660 Individuals served in 2016: 1,660
  • Volunteers hosted in 2016: 2,297 Volunteers hosted in 2016: 2,297
  • Projects: volunteer builds, project 'HomeWork', 'Bare Your Sole', disaster response Projects: volunteer builds, project 'HomeWork', 'Bare Your Sole', disaster response

Habitat for Humanity Singapore began operations in response to the urgent reconstruction needs following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004.

Since its inception, HFH Singapore has continually mobilised volunteers under the Global Village programme for building projects and disaster response all over the world including Malaysia, Indonesia, China and India.

HomeWorks Project

In Singapore, the Project HomeWorks programme seeks to improve the living conditions, safety and sanitation facilities of a growing number of vulnerable elderly across the island. To date, HFH Singapore has mobilised a total of more than 18,500 volunteers in over 700 builds in the Asia-Pacific region and over 1,300 home improvement projects.

HFH Singapore is also involved in fund raising and advocacy for Habitat projects in the Asia-Pacific region and other parts of the world.

The housing need

Before the Singapore government established the Housing & Development Board (HDB) as the country’s public housing authority in 1960, only 9 percent of the population was living in low-cost public housing.

Today, more than 80 percent of Singapore’s population lives in high quality HDB flats and approximately 90 percent of these residents own their flats.

Elderly and alone

In 2012, the Singapore government announced that there were over 35,000 vulnerable elderly living alone.

This number is likely to increase to 61,000 by 2020 and 83,000 by 2030.

Living conditions for these elderly people, who typically reside in one-room estates, are poor as many are unable to care for themselves.

Project HomeWorks Programme

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The Project HomeWorks programme was conceived to improve the living conditions of the elderly, the sick and the disabled living in one-room flats all over the island. Volunteers are mobilised to clean up homes, make minor repairs and ensure facilities meet safety standards.

Bare your sole

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Since 2006, more than 6,800 volunteers have participated in over 1,300 home improvement sessions. In addition, HFH Singapore raises awareness of the need to eliminate substandard housing through high-profile events such as Bare Your Sole.

An annual charity walk, Bare Your Sole enables participants to empathise with impoverished families who often go without shoes. This event also raises funds to support Project HomeWorks as well as Global Village builds and disaster response programmes.

HFH Partners

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HFH Singapore has partnered with several corporations, charitable foundations and non-governmental organisations. Singapore-based celebrities such as Paul Foster, Eunice Olsen, Corrinne May and Anita Kapoor lend their support as HFH Singapore’s ambassadors.

Members of campus chapters, a few of which have been established in local tertiary institutions, also volunteer, raise funds and advocate for Habitat.