RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY | Staff Reporter, Singapore

230,000 HDB flats added to Home Improvement Programme

Singapore expects to spend $4b on all improvement projects.

HDB will extend the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) to flats built in between 1987 and 1997 to the benefit of about 230,000 more households, prime minister Lee Hsien Loong announced in his National Day Rally speech on Sunday.

Previously, there are about 320,000 flats under the 1986 age-band that are eligible for the HIP when it was offered in 2007. As of 1 August 2018, HIP has been announced for about 242,000 of these eligible flats.

Of these, the upgrading works have been completed for more than half, or 122,000 flats, with work underway in the remaining flats, HDB added. The upgrading works have been completed for more than half, or 122,000 flats, with work underway in the remaining flats.

The announcement of HIP for all eligible flats in the 1986 age-band will be done by 2019, HBD added. The government expects to spend more than $4b on these projects.

The HIP focuses on improvements within the flat and helps flat owners address common maintenance problems related to ageing flats in a systematic and comprehensive manner.

Also read: Kampung Admiralty a model for public housing: PM Lee

There are two main components of work under the HIP – Essential and Optional. The Essential Improvements enhance public health and safety standards and are fully paid for by the government.

Optional Improvements include items such as upgrading of the existing toilet/bathrooms, installation of a new decorative door and metal grille gate, and a new refuse chute hopper. Flat owners can choose the improvements they need in their flat and pay only for those items selected.

The HIP will only proceed when at least 75% of a block’s eligible Singapore Citizen households have voted in favour of it.

HDB will also continue to offer the Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) programme. Under EASE, homeowners can choose from a range of elderly-friendly fittings and pay only for the improvements chosen. These include slip-resistant treatment for bathroom floor tiles, grab bars within the flat, and ramps to help the resident negotiate level differences in the flat. 

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