Unbundled parking in Singapore public housing
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Brief summary of this reform
Parking in Singapore's public housing estates, built by HDB, was free-of-charge at first. At some point (in the 1970s or1980s?) parking fees were introduced both for people (mainly residents) seeking long term 'season' parking and for short-term visitor parking.
Why should you care?
It is not widely known outside Singapore that car owners in public housing in Singapore pay at least S$960 per year (and usually more) for home-based parking.
Key actor type
Housing and Development Board (HDB)
Is it a model or a warning?
Main parking category
Main parking paradigm shift
Unknown or unclear or not applicable or other
Adaptive Parking thrust
P: Price parking in the right ways and with the right rates for each place and time
Goals of the reform
I don't know if this goal was articulated at the time but the idea is that only the users of the parking, and not other people, should pay for the parking that is provided in the estates. The principle that parking in HDB should not be subsidised by government nor cross-subsidised from other HDB business lines (such as housing) was stated by the Auditor General in 2004.
Impetus (what problem, campaign, opportunity or event prompted action?)
More information needed on what was happening at the time that parking fees were introduced.
Detailed description of the reform
Parking in Singapore's public housing estates, built by HDB, was free-of-charge at first. You might say that this means that parking was bundled with HDB flats. However, the term 'bundled' seems a little odd here, since HDB parking has never been allocated to specific flats or vehicles. It has always been pooled. Motorists seek a vacant spot within the parking area near their flat.
At some point (in the 1970s or1980s?) parking fees were introduced both for long term 'season' parking and for short-term visitor parking.
In other words, HDB residential parking is now 'unbundled'.
Residents who wish to park a car or motorcycle within the estate where they live must purchase a season parking permit from HDB.
As an example, the price per month for season parking in covered parking (mostly multi-storey car parks) in areas well away from the city centre is S$110 Tier 1 car, S$120 Tier 2 car and S$17 for motorcycle. See https://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/car-parks/season-parking/season-parking/application-procedure
[S$1 = USD0.76 in early 2021]
[Tier 1 season parking rate will apply to a resident's first car of the household. Resident must be the registered flat owner/ occupier/ tenant living in the HDB precinct served by the car park. Tier 2 season parking rate will apply to the residents' subsequent cars and all cars of non-residents.]
[Background: About 80% of Singapore citizens and permanent residents live in HDB estates, mostly in flats that they own on a 99 year leasehold basis. Rental flats are a small percentage of flats. This means that a very wide cross-section of socio-economic groups all live in HDB estates.]
Results or impacts
This policy fosters housing affordability and equity by ensuring that households that do not own a vehicle (many of whom cannot afford one) are not made to cross-subsidise the cost of providing parking for the households that do own vehicles.
Sources and acknowledgements
Barter, Paul (2020) ‘Singapore’ in Dorina Pojani, Jonathan Corcoran, Neil Sipe and Iderlina Mateo-Babiano (eds.) Parking: An International Perspective, 1st Edition. Elsevier.
Auditor General. 2004. “Report of the Auditor-General for the Financial Year 2003/04”. Singapore: Auditor General.
Housing & Development Board (HDB) Car Parks information. https://www.hdb.gov.sg/cs/infoweb/car-parks
Barter, P.A. (2011) Parking Policy in Asian Cities. Asian Development Bank (ADB), Manila. Available in hard copy or on-line via https://www.adb.org/publications/parking-policy-asian-cities.
2 Mar 2021