History and Milestones



The Community Development Councils (CDCs) were established under the PA Act (CDC Rules & Regulations 1997) to build a tightly-knit, compassionate and self-reliant community in Singapore. The first two CDCs were launched in early 1997 and by the end of the year, the remaining CDCs were in place.


In 2001, the nine CDCs formed were reorganised into the current five we have today – Central Singapore CDC, North East CDC, North West CDC, South East CDC and South West CDC. CDCs work closely with grassroots organisations, government agencies, social service agencies, schools, community and corporate companies to strengthen Singapore’s social fabric. Through CDCs programmes, residents can forge stronger community bonds and assist the vulnerable in the society.


The CDCs aim to encourage the more able and successful to come forward to help the less successful, and to foster greater sense of community ownership and self-help among the residents.


CDCs Milestones

Ngee Ann Kongsi (NAK) – CDC COVID-19 Relief Fund (COVID Relief Fund)

The COVID Relief Fund (CRF) is targeted at Singaporeans aged 21 years old and above, who are currently unemployed and /or loss of job due to non-voluntary no pay leave, retrenchment or termination for at least three months.

Law Awareness Weeks (LAW)@CDC

A pilot online project Youth Community & Legal Clinic (YCLC) was announced and to be launched subsequently to help youths seeking legal and social assistance.


The CDCs launched SkillsFuture@CDC “The Future of You” to complement Government’s efforts to support the local community and  Singapore businesses in lifelong learning, reskilling and upskilling.

CDC Vouchers Scheme

The CDCs launched the CDC Vouchers Scheme to help Singaporean households to defray the cost of living and at the same time, support participating merchants and local hawkers at HDB estates / heartlands during COVID-19 situation.

CDC Student Meals Scheme

The CDCs partnered Dr Tahir and Grab Singapore to launch CDC Student Meals Scheme amidst COVID-19.  The scheme provides primary and secondary school students living in units under Public Rental Scheme, with GrabFood vouchers to defray the cost of buying meals with self pick-up option.

Law Awareness Weeks (LAW)@CDC

Under the Law Awareness Weeks (LAW)@CDC, legal advice was made more accessible to the residents through a new webinar component covering taboo topics such as divorce and gambling.

WeCare Arts Exhibition

Together with NAC, the CDCs launched an 11-day WeCare Arts Exhibition showcasing the efforts of beneficiaries through activities like photography, batik painting, and dance.

Maybank Family Fund@CDC

The fund aims to uplift the lives of the vulnerable families through three broad areas, namely financial empowerment, employability and livelihood.

Common Senses for Common Spaces (CSCS)@CDC

The CDCs partnered with the Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle (IRCC) to launch Common Senses for Common Spaces (CSCS)@CDC, which was part of nationwide interfaith dialogue series.

Corporate Social Integration Fund (CSI)@CDC

 The CDCs partnered with the National Integration Council (NIC) to set up the Corporate Social Integration Fund (CSI)@CDC, to promote workplace integration through Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and volunteerism efforts in the community.

SkillsFuture Advice @ CDCs

Against a backdrop of rapid advancements in technology and an increasingly globalised workforce, five CDCs launched the SkillsFuture Advice (SFA) @ CDC to bring SFA workshops closer to the heartlands, empowering and equipping Singaporeans with opportunities to learn, adapt and skill-up as the economy restructures.

CDCs' 20th Anniversary Celebration

In conjunction with the 2017 Swearing-In Ceremony of Mayors, CDCs celebrated their 20th anniversary in community development. The CDC's ABC mission still remains very relevant. CDCs continue to build social cohesion and community bonding as well as encourage lifelong learning, volunteerism and community ownership for mutual support amongst residents. 

CASE Consumer Awareness Talks @ CDC

With the amendment to the Consumer Protection (Fair Trading) Act, the five CDCs partnered with the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE) to organise consumer awareness talks across the districts over three years. The talks aimed to help residents better understand their rights as consumers, the responsibility of retailers, and the avenues for recourse or mediation.

SG50 - CDCs Celebrating Communities

In conjunction with SG50, CDCs Celebrating Communities, the five Mayors and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong brought together more than 5,000 community and corporate partners, volunteers, beneficiaries and residents to participate in a community parade and brisk walk.

Law Awareness Weeks @ CDC

To meet the increasing need for legal awareness, the five CDCs and the Law Society of Singapore launched the first district-level Law Awareness Week @ CDC to organise legal talks for residents. Common and emerging topics such as Family Law, End of Life and Consumer Protection were covered to heighten the community's awareness of the issues. The programme was renamed Law Awareness Weeks @ CDC, extended from one to six weeks, so that more residents can benefit from the different talks.

WeCare Arts Funds @ CDC

In partnership with the National Arts Council, the five CDCs launched the WeCare Arts Fund to increase the access to arts for the social service sector for three years. The $1.5 million scheme allowed over 400 voluntary welfare organisations to apply for grants that support arts projects customised to the needs and interests of beneficiaries.

Community Legal Pro Bono Services Network

The five CDCs and the Law Society of Singapore signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch the Community Legal Pro Bono Services Network to provide pro bono legal advice to needy Singaporeans and Permanent Residents. Residents seeking advice can make appointments at the Community Legal Clinics set up across the five districts.

Return of National Social Assistance and Employment Assistance Functions

After the return of the two delegated functions to the Ministry of Social and Family Development, residents continue to approach the CDCs for help for local assistance programmes. The CDCs now focus more on promoting volunteerism, encouraging community ownership, mutual support and self-help in the districts.

SME Centres @ CDC

Together with SPRING Singapore and the Trade Associations and Chambers, the five CDCs established SME Centres @ CDC to provide local businesses with integrated services such as productivity diagnosis, guidance on government assistance schemes and capability workshops. These centres provide heartland SMEs with greater convenience and access to business resources and advice.

Singapore Brisk Walk

The Singapore Brisk Walk was organised to commemorate the third anniversary of the National Brisk Walking Programme and saw a turnout of more than 10,000 residents from the five districts. Brisk walking has gained popularity over the years with 100,000 Singaporeans participating in regular brisk walks, and more than 700 brisk walking clubs formed islandwide.

Caring for the Silver Community

Against the backdrop of Singapore's ageing population, the five CDCs, with President Tony Tan, launched the Caring for the Silver Community initiative to reach out to more seniors. The initiative focused on three strategic thrusts to: promote an active and healthy lifestyle among seniors; strengthen assistance for vulnerable seniors; and develop senior volunteerism.

National Health Qigong Programme

The five CDCs, together with MCYS, PA, HPB, SSC, National Parks Board, Housing & Development Board and Qigong Shi Ba Shi Association (Singapore) launched the National Health Qigong Programme to encourage seniors to lead an active lifestyle and provide a platform for them to make new friends.

CDCs’ Recession and Resilience Roadmap

The “CDCs’ Recession and Resilience Roadmap” was produced to provide Singaporeans with advice and tips on coping with challenges that the recession would bring; achieving self-reliance through positive thinking and harnessing strengths; and how they can better manage their finances.

National Brisk Walking Club Programme

The five CDCs, with Minister Lim Boon Heng, launched the National Brisk Walking Club Programme supported by Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), People’s Association (PA), Health Promotion Board (HPB) and Singapore Sports Council (SSC) to promote a healthy lifestyle and greater bonding among Singaporeans.

Stepping up Social and Financial Assistance

During the economic downturn in the last quarter of 2008, the CDCs put in place several measures to meet the increase in social and financial assistance applications, and organised more job fairs and job placement exercises to help expedite the job search of affected Singaporeans.

CDCs’ 10th Anniversary Celebration

At the 10th Anniversary Dinner, CDCs coined and unveiled the ABC Mission: Assisting the Needy, Bonding the People, and Connecting the Community.

From CDCs’ Joint Social Service Centre to OnePeople.sg

The five CDCs reorganised and launched OnePeople.sg to become a leading organisation in Singapore specialising in promoting racial harmony.

The CDCs continued to evolve their individual flagship programmes in response to the changing needs and aspirations in their respective districts.

Launch of the ComCare Local Networks

Launch of the ComCare Local Networks by the CDCs across the five districts in partnership with grassroots and voluntary welfare organisations to provide the needy with access to a wider range of social support services.

Establishment of the $1 Billion ComCare Endowment Fund

Establishment of the $1 Billion ComCare Endowment Fund by Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, and administered by the CDCs to provide a safety net for needy Singaporeans, and serve as a springboard for them to become self-reliant.

Involvement in Clean and Green Singapore (CGS)

The five CDCs were first involved in the Clean and Green Week (subsequently rebranded to Clean and Green Singapore) in 2003, and continued to do their part to inspire Singaporeans to care for and protect our common spaces and environment by adopting a clean, green and sustainable lifestyle. Co-organising the annual CGS with National Environment Agency, CDCs also take turns to host the main launch each year.

Restructuring of the Nine CDCs

Restructuring of the Nine CDCs to form five CDCs (Central Singapore, North East, North West, South East, and South West). National social assistance schemes and employment assistance functions were administered by CDCs later the same year.

Delegation of National Social Assistance and Employment Assistance functions

The CDCs were tasked by the Government to make the national social assistance schemes more accessible to the citizens and provide employment assistance, training and career counselling to help Singaporeans in upward social mobility.

Formation of the Community Development Councils (CDCs)

Nine CDCs (Marine Parade, Tanjong Pagar, Ang Mo Kio- Cheng San, Central Singapore, North East, Bukit Timah, Sembawang-Hong Kah, Hougang and Potong Pasir) were set up to build a caring and cohesive community.

The concept of CDCs

The concept of CDCs was first mooted by then Prime Minister, Mr Goh Chok Tong, at his 1996 National Day Rally Speech to build a tightly-knit, compassionate and self-reliant community in Singapore, where there is mutual help and where the more able help the less able.