SINGAPORE: Mr James Koh Cher Siang will retire as Chairman of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) on Friday (Sep 30) after nine years in the position, the Ministry of National Development (MND) and HDB announced in a joint news release.
Mr Koh will be succeeded by the board's current deputy chairman, Mr Bobby Chin Yoke Choong.
HDB and MND said Mr Koh, who has been HDB's chairman since 2007, guided HDB to achieve a stable public housing market in recent years, by increasing the supply of home ownership flats, giving out more housing grants, and putting in place demand-side measures to bring balance back to the housing market.
Under his leadership, housing policies were recalibrated, said MND and HDB. Among them: Two-room Build-to-Order flats were offered to singles for the first time in 2013, and three-generation flats were introduced to allow multi-generational families to live together. Additionally, two-room flexi flats with shorter leases were introduced in 2015 for the elderly, while Mr Koh was at the helm.
"Mr Koh was also highly supportive of HDB’s new and innovative initiatives to deliver a better living environment, with master plans unveiled over the past few years in new areas like Bidadari and Tampines North, the development of Singapore’s first eco-town in Punggol, and the continuous rejuvenation of existing towns," said HDB and MND.
Mr Chin, who will take over as the new Chairman of the HDB Board, is presently the Chairman of NTUC Fairprice Co-operative, according to the release. He also serves as a member of the Council of Presidential Advisers. His prior experience includes being the Chairman of the Urban Redevelopment Authority from 2001 to 2006, and prior to that, its board member from 1997 to 2001.
"The Ministry of National Development and Housing & Development Board wish to thank Mr James Koh Cher Siang for his invaluable contributions over the years," HDB and MND said.