Over 80 per cent of Singaporeans live in apartments built by the state Housing and Development Board (HDB), while 90 per cent own their home. In 1959, less than one in ten citizens owned their homes and it was clear that there was an acute shortage of sanitary housing. Post-independence, the Government established the HDB, which within five years built over 50,000 flats and encouraged citizens to use funds from a social security savings scheme to work towards owning their homes. Since then, the board has been able to provide publicly-built housing to a growing number of citizens and, with a staff of 5000, manages nearly a million housing units.

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