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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
The CDCs now focus
more on promoting
mutual support and self-help
in the districts.
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.
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
over the years with
participating in regular
brisk walks, and more
than 700 brisk walking
clubs formed islandwide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
and organised more
job fairs and job placement
exercises to help expedite
the job search of affected
At the 10th Anniversary Dinner,
CDCs coined and unveiled the ABC Mission: Assisting
the Needy, Bonding the People, and Connecting the
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 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 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.
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 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.
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
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 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.