Hougang translates to “backside of a river” in the Chinese dialect of Hokkien. True to its name, this area comprised of swamps bordering the Serangood river. Initially, this village was inhabited by the Hokkien tribe that migrated from China. After the advent of the British, this place saw rapid transformation. The construction of a hospital for the mentally ill in Hougang led to its development as a residential area.

Over the last few years, this area has seen much industrial development most of which are located in the Defu industrial park in Defu Lane. Many residents who live here are employed in these industries that revolve around low skill manufacturing such as production of furniture and ice.

Due to these developments, Hougang abounds with Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats, HUDC flats, condominiums and independent houses. It is estimated that there are more than 47,000 housing units including executive flats and spacious four-bedroom apartments located in this region. A unique aspect of many flats in Hougang is its large and semi-circular balconies, as these are not found in any other part of Singapore.

There are many reasons to move to Hougang. Popularly known as the “heartland” because it is a centralized region located inside a larger area, Hougang is divided into seven divisions for better administration. This division translates to better civic amenities for residents like you.

Other reasons to live in Hougang include:


Hougang is well-connected by public transport, and has an excellent road connectivity as well. Hougan MRT and Kovan MRT ferry thousands of people to different parts of the city for work and entertainment. The many feeder services ensure that MRT is accessible to everyone, regardless of their location in Hougang.


Since Hougang is home to many people from varying backgrounds, there are a ton of choices to suit the preferences of everyone. Schools such as Hougang primary school, Xinghua primary school, Bowen secondary school, Montfort secondary school, Hougang Japanese language school, University of Brunswick and the Serangoon junior college are some good choices for the residents of Hougang.

Recreational Facilities

One of the biggest reasons for this rapid development of Hougang is the many recreational facilities available for its residents. There are many community centers and clubs such as Hougang community center and Hougang swimming complex that provide ample opportunities for people to get to their know their neighbors. Also, it has many activities that entertain people of all ages. The Cheng San community library hosts many events all through the year to keep the residents entertained while the Punggol Park and Surin Avenue Neighborhood park provide ample opportunities for physical activity.

There are also many shopping and dining areas in this part of Singapore. The Hougang Green Shopping Mall, the Hougang Mall and the NTUC Hougang Mall sell every possible product under the sun, so its residents do not have to travel far to get the things they want.

Besides shopping, dining choices also galore in Hougang with places like Kopitiam, Suki Sushi and Jack’s Place that provide a range of different cuisines to satisfy the taste preferences of different people.
For the devout and the religious people, there are many places to choose from. The Hong Lai Sze temple is a Buddhist monastery, Glad Tidings is a church and Masjid En Naeem is a mosque. All these places attract visitors too because of their beautiful architecture.

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Photo credits: Chinese temple – Hougang by Jimmy Tan – used under CC BY