These terrace houses built by the Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT) are rare as there are only 285 of such public landed residential houses in Singapore. Most of these are located in mature estates like Queenstown.
These 13 blocks of terrace houses in Queenstown were built by the Housing and Development Board’s (HDB’s) predecessor, the colonial-era Singapore Improvement Trust (SIT).
An emblem of the transition from the SIT to the modern-day HDB, which was established in 1960, these terrace homes are among the 285 HDB landed properties that can be found in Whampoa, Jalan Bahagia, and Queenstown.
They were constructed between 1959 and 1961 as a low- density alternative to the neighbouring three high-rise blocks of flats and gave Queenstown’s skyline some variety as well as a more “kampung” feel.
In the early days, the residents of the 150 two-room and three-room units were able to do what few HDB flat dwellers could not – grow vegetables, plant fruit trees and even rear chickens in the open spaces in front of their houses.
Before the estate was developed into public housing, it was a hilly rural area with a village named Boh Beh Kang or “No Tail Village”. It also contained plantations and cemeteries.
Nowadays, new flats and condominiums stand alongside the terrace houses, providing a contrast between the old and new.
Due to their “landed” nature, though, the houses are much pricier than they were in the 1960s and may even be more valuable than the new homes nearby. In 2016, a four-room unit at 43 Stirling Road fetched a sale price of $980,000 – working out to approximately $843 per square feet.
Buildings and sites featured on Roots.SG are part of our efforts to raise awareness of our heritage; a listing on Roots.SG does not imply any form of preservation or conservation status, unless it is mentioned in the article. The information in this article is valid as of December 2019 and is not intended to be an exhaustive history of the site/building.