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新加坡的福利住房能否跟上时代的变化?

更新时间:2019/1/7 16:11:58 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Can Singapore's social housing keep up with changing times?
新加坡的福利住房能否跟上时代的变化?

“I remember feeling very free. There was a lot of land to roam about,” says Chuck Hio Soon Huat. He sits at a table drinking coffee. “We built our own toys, climbed trees, walked in the river, shot birds, picked fruit.”

"当时很自由,可以漫步在广阔的土地上。"侯顺发(Chuck Hio Soon Huat,音译)说。他坐在桌旁喝着咖啡:"我们自己做玩具,爬树,在河里走,打鸟,摘水果。"

Hio reminisces about the past with his friend and former work colleague, Lam Chun See. The food court where they’re chatting is designed to look like one of Singapore’s many hawker centres, but a sentimental version – a pastiche with faded pastel awnings inside a modern shopping plaza.

侯顺发和他的朋友兼前同事林振喜(Lam Chun See,音译)一起回忆过去。他们聊天的美食广场在设计上和新加坡众多的熟食中心差不多,但更有人情味,开在现代的购物广场里,彩色遮阳篷已经褪了色。

The Singapore they remember is completely different from the contemporary city-state famous for its pristine streets, sleek buildings and high-end malls.

他们记忆中的新加坡,与这个以干净街道、时尚建筑和高端商场闻名的当代城邦完全不同。

They chat about growing up in kampongs (or kampungs), traditional villages of zinc-roofed wooden houses that often had no running water or electricity.

他们聊起在甘榜(kampong,又名kampung)长大的经历,这种传统村落里都是锌顶木屋,大多没有自来水也没有电。

Today, kampongs have almost entirely disappeared in Singapore, swept away by high-rises in what is seen as one of the world’s most ambitious and successful public housing programmes. But what drove this programme, and how well has it served Singapore’s generations?

如今,甘榜在新加坡几乎消失殆尽,取而代之的是一栋栋摩天大楼,也是全球最雄心勃勃,也是最成功的公共住房项目之一。是什么推动了它,对历代新加坡人而言项目怎么样?

‘Talk less, do more’

"少说话,多做事"

A push to build public housing began under the British in 1920. But the real change came in 1959 when the People’s Action Party (PAP) took power, says Han Ming Guang of the Singapore Heritage Society.

1920年,英国人最先开始建造公共房屋。但新加坡传统文化学会的韩明光(Han Ming Guang,音译)说,真正的变化是在1959年人民行动党上台之后。

“There was a need to redevelop certain key areas of Singapore and also to re-house people away from the city as the PAP leaders wanted to make Singapore modern,” he says.

"人民行动党的领导人希望将新加坡现代化,因此有必要重新开发一些重要地区,并将人们安置在远离城市的地方," 他说。

This process was accelerated after a fire at a kampong in 1961 left thousands of people homeless, and deepened government concern about squalid and over-crowded living conditions.

1961年甘榜的一场大火导致数千人无家可归,政府对肮脏拥挤的生活条件愈发担忧,加速了公共房屋项目。

In 1960, the Housing Development Board (HDB) was established and within three years had built more than 31,000 flats. With an ambitious mantra of ‘talk less, do more’, hundreds of thousands of people were moved from kampongs into HDB flats, sparking mixed reactions.

1960年,新加坡建屋发展局成立,并在三年内兴建了31,000多套组屋。在"少说话,多做事"这一雄心勃勃的口号之下,成千上万的人从甘榜搬进了组屋,但民众反响不一。

“There were some who were delighted,” says Han. “These groups had been squatting or sharing a tiny space with others and had no electricity or modern sanitation. Moving into the HDB units was a godsend to them.”

"有些人很高兴,"韩明光说。"这些人过去的生活空间狭小,或是要跟别人合住,没有电,也没有现代化的卫生设施。搬进组屋对他们来说是天赐良机。"

But others resented having to move. “They chased us out,” says 66-year-old Lam Chun See, who writes a blog on his kampong days called Good Morning Yesterday. “They took our land.”

但另一些人则不满强制搬迁。"他们把我们赶了出去,"66岁的林振喜说。他把在甘榜的日子写成了博客,名为《早上好,昨天》(Good Morning Yesterday)。"他们抢夺了我们的土地。"

Lam is referring to the Land Acquisition Act, which came into force the year after Singapore became independent in 1965. It was controversial but then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew insisted it was necessary. It enabled the government to acquire land at low cost for housing projects and move people out of the overcrowded city centre.

林振喜指的是1965年新加坡独立一年后生效的《土地征用法》。这部法令是有争议的,但时任总理李光耀(Lee Kuan Yew)认为势在必行。它使政府能够以低廉成本获得土地用于住房项目,并将人们迁出拥挤的市中心。

“The rationale of the Land Acquisition Act was that we ought to make sacrifices for the good of the country,” says Lam, “But if I [the government] take your land, that means I’m appointing you to make the sacrifice; to me that’s unfair.”

"《土地征用法》的基本理念是,我们应该为国家的利益做出牺牲,"林振喜说,"但如果我(政府)拿走你的土地,就意味着命令你做出牺牲,这不公平。"

Chuck Hio Soon Huat remembers different emotions. “I didn’t feel sad at all, maybe I was too young. Shifting into an HDB flat felt better because it was much cleaner, much more convenient.”

侯顺发当时的心情则不一样。"我一点儿也不难过,也许那会儿太年轻了。我觉得搬到组屋更好,因为更加干净便捷。"

HDBs were initially available only to rent, but home ownership soon became a national priority propelled by Lee Kuan Yew, who believed it would drive national stability.

组屋最初只供出租,但在李光耀的推动下,居者有其屋很快成为国家的头等大事,他认为这有助于国家稳定。

After decades of intensive building, Singapore now has more than 1 million HDB flats across 23 towns. In 1960 just 9% of Singaporeans lived in public housing; today that figure is nearly 80%, with more than 90% of residents owning their homes.

经过几十年的密集建设,现在新加坡的23个城镇共有100多万套组屋。1960年,只有9%的新加坡人住在公共住房,如今接近80%,超过90%的组屋居民买下了房子。

Sale prices for new builds (Build-To-Order) are lower than market value – although there is a waiting period of at least 3 to 4 years before you can move in – and rental stock is heavily subsidised for low income households. Latest figures show that HDB flats make up 73% of Singapore’s total housing stock.

有订单才会建新房,售价均低于市场价格,但要等上至少3、4年才能入住,不过低收入家庭也可以获得大量租房补贴。最新数据显示,组屋数量占新加坡住房总量的73%。

Pre-determined path?

未来的路已被设定?

Safura Ashari, an estate agent who got into the business eight years ago after getting divorced, helps clients find HDB units.

阿萨里(Safura Ashari)是一名房地产经纪人,八年前离婚后入行,专帮客户寻找组屋。 

The 40-year-old lives in an HDB in Pasir Ris in the east of Singapore. Uniform tower blocks line the road and there’s a buzzing food court, shops, a doctors’ surgery, a vet and a grocery store. The estate is alive with residents despite the tropical rain.

她今年40岁,住在新加坡东部巴西立地区的组屋。道路两边是一座座整齐划一的高楼大厦,还有熙熙攘攘的美食广场、商店、诊所、宠物医院和杂货店。尽管下着雨,外面仍然有很多居民,很有生活气息。

Ashari says it’s a close-knit community. “I don’t lock my door, I make it a point to know my neighbours,” she says. “On my floor we have Indians, Chinese, Filipino and I’m Malay. We celebrate all the holidays – Hari Raya, Christmas, Diwali.”

阿萨里说这是一个紧密联系的社区。"我不锁门,我想要认识邻居们," 她说。"我那一层有印度人、中国人、菲律宾人,我是马来人。我们所有节日都庆祝——开斋节、圣诞节、排灯节。"

The diversity is not a coincidence – each HDB has to meet strict ethnic quotas. The government’s Ethnic Integration Policy, implemented in 1989, aims to maintain an ethnic mix in HDBs, something Lee Kuan Yew said would prevent communities “fragmenting and being alienated from one another”.

种族的多样性并非巧合,每一栋公共住房都必须严格按照配额分给不同种族的人。新加坡政府1989年开始实施种族融合政策,旨在维持组屋内种族混合,李光耀认为这样可以防止社区"分裂和彼此疏远"。

For estate agents like Ashari, this can prove tricky. “I had a case where I was selling the property for two years. The Malay quota was filled and it was a Chinese seller, so you can only sell to Chinese.”

对于阿萨里这样的房地产经纪人来说,可能会很麻烦。"我有一单交易的房子卖了两年。马来人的配额已经满了,而且卖家是个中国人,所以只能卖给中国人。"

Maintaining racial quotas is just one factor in accessing social housing. New HDB flats are only available to married couples. Singletons must wait until the age of 35 to buy and even then, can only purchase more expensive resale flats rather than new builds.

种族配额只是影响获得组屋的因素之一。新建的组屋只提供给已婚人士,单身人士必须等到35岁才可以买,而且即使到了35岁,也只能买更贵的二手房,不能买新房。

Divorcees also face hurdles – they can’t rent HDB flats for 30 months after selling the matrimonial home, limiting them to the more expensive open market, says Corinna Lim, executive director of AWARE (Association of Women for Action and Research). Unmarried mothers can also only buy HDBs once they hit 35 because they are not recognised as a “family nucleus”, she adds.

新加坡妇女行动与研究协会的执行理事林女士(Corinna Lim)表示,离婚人士也面临难题——将婚姻期间的住房出售后30个月内不能租住组屋,他们只能去更昂贵的公开市场找房子。她补充说,未婚母亲也只有在年满35岁后才可以购买组屋,因为她们不被视为"家庭核心"。

The rationale is that less restrictive housing policy could encourage divorce and non-traditional family structures, but Lim says there is no “substantive evidence” to show divorce rates would increase if housing rules were relaxed.

这么做的理由是,住房政策宽松可能会鼓励离婚和非传统的家庭结构,但林女士说,没有"实质性证据"表明,放宽政策会令离婚率上升。

“The reality is that there will always be divorced parents and unmarried mothers who need stable housing, regardless of the social or policy environment,” she says.

"现实情况是,不管社会和政策环境如何,总有离了婚的父母和未婚母亲需要稳定的住房," 她说。

‘Steph’, who had a daughter at 17, says her need for a proper home is the same as any other family. “Family comes in different shapes and forms, and we need to start acknowledging it. Me being unwed doesn’t make me less of a mother or less of a Singaporean.”

斯蒂芬(Steph,化名)17岁就有了女儿,说她和其他家庭一样需要一个像样的家。"家庭有不同的形态和形式,我们要认识到这一点。没结婚并不会削弱我身为母亲或者新加坡人的角色。"

Raymond Yeo, 43, was single when he bought his first home at the requisite age of 35. Now married and looking to upgrade his flat, he has mixed feelings about the system. He liked the original philosophy but feels that some of the criteria for buying an HDB need revisiting.

现年43岁的杨先生(Raymond Yeo)在所要求的35岁时买了第一套房子,当时他还是单身。现在他已经结婚,想要换套更好的,他对这套体系爱恨参半。他欣赏原本的理念,但觉得一些购买标准需要重新审视。

“The government shows you paths they have created for you, so if you don’t conform, there’s nothing for you. If you want to own a home, you will try to get married and hopefully you can buy,” he says. “I feel the younger generation has no choice but to follow the path that is laid out for them.”

"政府把它铺设的道路指给你看,你不走就无路可走。如果你想拥有自己的房子,就会想着结婚,但愿能买到,"他说。"我觉得年轻一代别无选择,只能沿着为他们规划的道路走下去。"

Ashari takes a different view despite having experienced her fair share of setbacks in life, and remains upbeat about the HDB system. “None of my clients have gone homeless, no matter what situation they are in,” she says, adding that it is common to appeal to the HDB and find a solution.

尽管阿萨里在生活中经历过不少挫折,但却不这么看,她对组屋体系仍持乐观态度。她表示:"不管我的客户是什么情况,都不会无家可归,"她还说,都多人都会向建屋发展局提出诉求并找到解决办法。

Home ownership is achievable mostly thanks to subsidies like grants to live close to your parents and access to a Central Provident Fund (CPF), a savings fund that all working Singaporeans are required to pay into. There are tight regulations around selling and renting out your HDB.

让拥有住房成为现实主要得益于一些补贴措施,比如与父母住得近能得到补助,另外还有新加坡中央公积金,是一种储蓄基金,每位工作的新加坡人都必须缴纳。另外对组屋的出售和出租都有严格规定。

Ashari has seen clients’ attitudes change over the years, however. “The more conservative ones just want to have a roof over their heads,” she says, “but there is another group that want a good HDB in a good location. They say: ‘I’m going to stay there for five years [as mandated by law] and then I’m going to rent it out and I’m going to buy another private property [on the open market].’”

但阿萨里发现,客户的态度多年来也有变化。"较为保守的人只是想有个栖身之所,但也有人想在好地段拥有一套好的组屋。他们说:'我打算在那里住五年(法律规定至少自住五年),然后把它租出去,(在公开市场上)再买一处私人房产。'"

Keeping communities connected

让社区相联

Tan Jin Meng, a 53-year-old with a Master's Degree in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, has taken a broader look at Singapore’s housing policy. Amid rising debate on inequality in the city-state, he points out that the public housing provision constitutes a “very significant social benefit”.

53岁的谭进梦(Tan Jin Meng,音译)拥有李光耀公共政策学院的公共政策硕士学位,他对新加坡住房政策的审视更为全面。关于新加坡不平等问题的辩论日益激烈,他指出,提供公共住房是"非常重要的社会福利"。

But he says housing has become a political tool – a social contract between Singaporeans and a government obliged to keep providing homes for them. “It is a millstone because the government is now ‘responsible’ – it can’t reduce benefits without [political] cost.”

但是他说,住房已经成了一种政治工具——是新加坡人和政府之间的一种社会契约,政府有义务继续为人民提供住房。"这是一个沉重的负担,因为政府现在是'负责任的',不能在不付出(政治)成本的情况下削减福利。"

And Tan is worried for the future. He fears some people are over-extending on housing, leaving few retirement savings. He also feels older people are becoming isolated, even though HDB blocks were designed to encourage neighbourliness.

他也对未来感到担忧。他担心一些人在住房上投入过多,导致退休储蓄所剩无几。他还认为,尽管组屋住宅区旨在鼓励邻里关系,但老年人正越来越孤独。

In Pasir Ris, Ashari says she chose her current estate because it has a garden, fitness area, basketball courts, four playgrounds and activities like Zumba and badminton. Such design features encourage people to come together, but Tan believes the kampong spirit is eroding amid a new mindset in younger generations.

阿萨里说她选择住在巴西立地区是因为这里有花园、健身区、篮球场、四个操场,还有尊巴舞和羽毛球等活动。这样的设计特色鼓励人们走到一起,但谭进梦认为,年轻一代的心态不同了,甘榜精神正在消亡。

“We are not a very gregarious people,” he says. “We tend to keep to ourselves, so the government has a lot of concerns about reaching out to people and getting them involved in activities.”

"我们不是特别喜欢社交的民族,"他说。"我们倾向于自我封闭,所以政府非常关注民众与外界的接触情况,让他们参与活动。"

Tan also feels that future generations – better educated than their parents, with higher incomes and fewer children - may want different things from their housing.

谭进梦还认为,未来的几代人比父母受教育程度更高,收入更高,孩子更少,可能对住房有不同要求。

One thing they may not be happy about is that all HDB flats come with a 99-year lease. Once it runs out, the government can reclaim them. Singapore’s a young nation and what happens when the first leases run out is a hotly-debated topic.

所有组屋都有99年的租期,可能会让大家不满。一旦到期,政府可以将房屋收回。新加坡是一个年轻的国家,第一批租约到期后会发生什么是一个热议话题。

It is also often said that in Singapore the question popped is not “Will you marry me?” but “Want to get a flat together?”.

人们常说,在新加坡,求婚时问的不是"你愿意嫁给我吗?"而是"想一起有套房吗?"

Angela Oh, 29, bought her new four-room HDB with the man who is now her husband in 2012 and just moved in this year. The system allows partners to put their names down for new flats, but you must be married by the time it is built.

29岁的胡女士(Angela Oh)在2012年和现在的丈夫买了一套三室一厅的新组屋,今年才搬进来。政策允许恋人先登记上名字,但必须在新公寓建成前结婚。

“The long time that BTOs (Built to Order) take to build really spoils the joy of the proposal,” she says, because marriage becomes about practicality. If you break up during the waiting period, you lose money and are barred from applying for another BTO for a year.

她表示:"按订单建造的组屋工期太长,真的会破坏求婚的快乐,"因为婚姻变得实际。如果你在等房期间分手,钱有损失,而且一年内不能再申请组屋。

Oh, who grew up in an HDB, says she and her husband “are content to make a forever home out of our BTO”. But she says her generation think differently to their parents.

胡女士在组屋长大,她说她和丈夫"乐意永远把这间公寓当成自己的家"。但她也说,她这一代的想法与父辈不同。

“Our parents probably believe that an HDB flat is the be all and end all,” she says. “The current generation has more to think about than just having a roof over their heads… global citizenship has redefined the way we view and think about the location of a home.”

"我们的父母可能认为,一套组屋就是人生的全部意义,"她说。"我们这代人考虑的不仅仅是有个栖身之所……世界公民的身份重新定义了我们对家,以及家在哪里的看法。"

For former kampong-dwellers like Lam Chun See and Chuck Hio Soon Huat, there will always be a pull to the past.

对于像林振喜和侯顺发这样的前甘榜居民来说,过去总是有吸引力的。

“We had nature at our doorstep,” says Lam. “Here, what doorstep? [In your] HDB flat, you don’t have a doorstep!” he laughs. “But the fault is not with the HDB,” he continues. “It’s urbanisation.”

"大自然就在门阶前,"林振喜说。"在这里,门阶是什么?组屋里就没有门阶!"他笑着说。"但错不在组屋,这是城市化的问题。"

Hio nods his head. “It’s the price you pay for progress,” he says. “But I feel proud that we played a part in it.”

侯顺发点了点头。"这是进步的代价,"他说。"但我很高兴能有所贡献。"

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