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Overall improvement in foreign worker housing landscape

  1. The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has seen an overall improvement in the foreign worker housing landscape in the past three years. This is mainly reflected in the steady decrease in the number of offenders for housing-related contraventions, from 1,451 in 2015, to 1,316 in 2016, and a further drop in 2017 to 1,176.
  2. Despite the progress made, MOM, together with other agencies, will continue to step up enforcement at private residential premises (PRPs), where most of the cases of foreign workers living in poor housing conditions are found.

    Continuous Efforts to Raise Housing Standards
  3. Beyond a drop in the number of housing offenders, MOM has raised regulatory standards across various housing types over the past three years. This included the enactment of Foreign Employee Dormitories Act in 2016, as well as the imposition of new requirements for Factory-Converted Dormitories (FCDs) and for Construction Temporary Quarters in 2017 and 2018 respectively.
  4. In addition to legislative and regulatory changes, MOM stepped up proactive inspections and conducted more than 4,600 inspections across all housing types during this period. MOM also worked closely with other enforcement agencies to strengthen enforcement of foreign worker housing and act against parties who breach the requirements. Foreign workers must also play their part to help maintain and upkeep their living conditions in the dormitories. Enforcement action can be taken against those who fail to notify employers of a change in their residential addresses and contributing to unacceptable or overcrowded premises. MOM will work with employers to educate workers on their responsibilities.

    Housing Situation in PRPs Closely Monitored
  5. Minister of State for Manpower, Mr Zaqy Mohamad, who oversees foreign manpower management matters, joined MOM’s Housing Inspectorate today on a visit to a purpose-built dormitory (PBD), Tuas View Dormitory, and an FCD operated by Greyform Pte Ltd. During the visit, Mr Zaqy engaged the dormitory operators to
    understand their day-to-day challenges.
  6. On the visit and engagement session, Mr Zaqy reiterated that employers and dormitory operators had a legal obligation to ensure that workers had a safe and proper place to rest for the day. He said, “We urge employers and dormitory operators to strive for continuous improvement, beyond just meeting basic standards. For smaller types of foreign worker housing, we still have some work to do. In particular, we are monitoring
    PRPs closely, and together with the other government agencies, such as URA and the SCDF, we will act against parties who flout foreign worker housing requirements.”
  7. On 12 September 2018, Mr Zaqy will present awards to winners of the Second Dormitory Awards which recognise exemplary efforts by dormitory operators in foreign worker housing management.