Improving the living environment of the New Launch Condos: 4 other HDB upgrade programs part I.
SINGAPORE – Since implementing the Elevator Upgrade Program in 2001, the Housing Council has launched a number of initiatives to improve and rejuvenate HDB apartments and New Launch Condos.
The latest initiative is the Facade Upgrade Program, launched in March, to address the wear and tear of a building's facade due to extreme weather conditions and aging caused by climate change.
More than 4,000 HDB blocks across the island are expected to benefit from this new $338 million program, which will run until March 2029.
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Besides, New Launch Condos, While the location of the 4,000 HDB buildings remains unclear, the Department of National Development and HDB said these will be older buildings across Singapore. The brick cladding and metal fixtures on the facades of the HDB blocks will be repaired and strengthened under the program.
Today, there are more than 10,000 HDB properties across the island, with the oldest properties on Stirling Road in Queenstown being built more than 60 years ago. Here are four other HDB upgrade initiatives that improve the inside and around of your home.
Improving the living environment of the New Launch Condos: : 4 other HDB upgrade programs you need to know
1. Elevator upgrade program
Introduced in 2001, the Lift Upgrade Program (LUP) aims to upgrade elevator services to ensure direct access on every floor where feasible.
At the start of the program, there were more than 5,300 HDB New Launch Condos without elevators on each floor. This means that residents whose apartments are located between floors where the elevator is located must climb stairs. Of those, more than 1,000 blocks were initially deemed unfeasible for LUP due to cost or technical constraints.
Since then, HDB has deployed technical solutions such as machine roomless elevators, smaller "home elevators" suitable for low-rise buildings. New entrances to the apartments through the existing balcony or living room were also created to connect to the elevators on each floor.
The LUP will be conducted only when at least 75% of Singapore households qualify for a block voting in favor. Homeowners only need to pay up to $3,000 before goods and services tax, as most costs are subsidized.
As of January 2023, there are approximately 140 blocks of apartments that do not have direct elevator access due to technical and location constraints or high costs, some of which exceed $100,000 each.
Residents who have an urgent need to take the lift directly due to a medical condition or mobility reason can tap the Lift Access Housing Allowance up to $30,000 to help them move into a new HDB unit or Resale apartments have direct elevator access.
2. Home Improvement Program
Launched in 2007, the Home Improvement Program (HIP) addresses common maintenance problems of aging HDB apartments. The HIP has three components – essential improvements, optional improvements, and Active Seniors (Easy).
Essential improvements, such as repairing cracked concrete and replacing pipe outlets, are fully covered by the Government. Optional improvements, which are heavily subsidized, include upgraded toilet tiles and sanitary fittings, replacement of metal mesh doors and waste collection hoppers.
A range of senior-friendly accessories such as handrails and ramps are also available under the Easy program. Renovation work for about 305,000 HDB apartments – or 95% of the units built since 1986 – was completed on March 31.
Another 11,000 apartments - or 4% - are being upgraded, the rest are yet to be voted on HIP. The HIP will only be conducted when at least 75% of Singapore's eligible households of a district vote for it. Next in the program are 230,000 apartments completed between 1987 and 1997.
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