Friday 18 October 07:05 AM
Many people don’t know this, but Singapore’s first HDB Public Housing flats were all rental flats and the HDB only started to sell (a few) flats to owners under the Home Ownership Scheme for the People, an initiative launched on 12 Feb 1964. As a result many many more rental blocks existed than flats for sale in the 1960s.
Several of these rental flats were actively converted to flats for sale later on in their lives with the HDB and the government actively encouraging tenants in these flats to take the step and become home owners instead.
Another rare feature of HDB flats in the 1960s was the lack of a void deck and if you study ALL HDB flats built in Queenstown in the 1960s you will realise that none of them have void decks.
In Toa Payoh, which was planned and built completely by the HDB, many flats that were first built in its early years also did not have void decks and were rental only.
Some flats in Toa Payoh have remained this way till today, like this one pictured here - Block 64 Toa Payoh Lorong 5, a 12 storey T-shaped block completed in 1966 during the first phase of construction in Toa Payoh.
It has no void deck and instead has dwelling units on the ground floor. It was also never sold to the public, instead it has remained a rental only flat for the last 53 years and it consists of 239 2-Room rental flats.
I have photographed block 64 many times at night but this was the first time I used the iPhone 11 Pro Max in Night Mode to make an image of it.
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