Housing for foreign workers
Sun, Sep 07, 2008
The Straits Times

Number of foreign workers: 756,000 in 2006, with more adding to that during the construction boom

Housing: Most live in 36 permanent commercially-run dormitories and 18 industrial or warehouse developments

Bed spaces: 65,000 in 11 new dormitory sites coming up by 2010

Where housing sites are: Of the 11 sites, some are vacant government buildings, which will be used as temporary housing until the permanent facilities are ready

Factors considered when the Ministry of National Development assesses a site for temporary housing: Availability of adequate infrastructure serving the site, sufficient parking spaces and enough ancillary facilities to serve the workers.


'Given that Singapore is becoming more built up, it will be an increasing challenge to find suitable sites for foreign workers. Residents may find more foreign workers living in their midst, or dormitory sites located near to their premises.

We hope that Singaporeans will be more understanding and accommodating in this aspect. Foreign workers are here to contribute to our economic growth.

Employers and dormitory operators must also play a part in educating the foreign workers on the social norms and way of life in Singapore, and ensuring that the workers are properly housed.'

-- Mr Mah Bow Tan, on how dorms will be moving closer to residential areas, in a written parliamentary response earlier this year

For more The Straits Times stories, click here.

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