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HDB to offers ramps for flats with multi-step entrances

It will be available for households with a Singapore senior citizen who is a wheelchair user.

Seniors living in older flats with multi-step entrances can look forward to moving in and out of their homes with greater ease.

This comes as the Housing and Development Board (HDB) is set to expand its Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) programme to include two new features – a customised ramp and a portable ramp.

HDB revealed that there are about 170,000 flats with multi-step entrances in Singapore. It noted that the ramps – to be offered from 5 December – are suitable for the majority of flats with such entrances.

The portable ramps are suitable for units with sufficient space in front of the entrance, such as those located at the corner of the block.

The customised ramps – which are fabricated based on the configuration of the flat’s entrance and space – are suitable for those located along the corridor.

To be eligible, the unit owner must be a Singapore citizen, with one household member who is at least 65 years of age and a wheelchair-user, or aged between 60 and 64 but requires assistance for daily self-care activities, such as bathing, feeding and dressing.

“Residents whose flats are undergoing the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) will be offered the EASE programme in conjunction with HIP. They may choose to have the ramps installed then,” said HDB.

“For those whose flats are not undergoing HIP, they can apply directly to HDB to have the ramps installed under the EASE (Direct Application).”

HDB’s appointed contractor will then assess the site and advise the unit owners on which ramp would be suitable for their flat’s entrance.

For cases where ramps cannot be installed due to site constraints, a mechanical wheelchair lifter suitable for use in HDB estates may be offered.

To be introduced in a separate pilot, the lifter is costlier than ramps and requires regular maintenance.

Unit owners can have the wheelchair lifter installed in their homes at a 50 percent subsidy and a yearly servicing fee of $80, payable from the second year onwards.

Meanwhile, flat owners in which these solutions are not feasible can approach HDB to explore alternative solutions.

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