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​Rethinking dorms: Next steps for foreign worker housing in Singapore

Published on: 26-May-2020

The Straits Times, page 4-5

With the outbreak of Covid-19 in the foreign workers’ dormitories, dorm operators said they had begun implementing enhanced safety measures as early as January, following guidance from the Ministry of Manpower. Observers say the new safety rules could shake up how dorms are run, and also result in consolidation. One way to improve both efficiency and accountability in the dorm model is to adopt a government contracting model for example. Prof Foo Maw Der of the Nanyang Business School suggested a ‘hybrid model’, where some dorms could be managed by private enterprises and others by government-related organisations. This “could also facilitate new operation methods being tried out”, he said. Others said future dorms have to meet the needs of workers and be a space they can call home. NTU School of Social Sciences Asst Prof Laavanya Kathiravelu said one option is to form management committees within dorms, not unlike those in condos.

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