The Ministry of National Development announced today two new initiatives to enhance accessibility for HDB residents, especially in view of an aging population:
a) Enhancement For Active Seniors (EASE) (乐龄易计划) – New home improvements to make HDB homes more elderly friendly.
b) Car Park Lift Installation Programme (停车场电梯计划) – HDB will add lifts at multi-storey car parks (MSCPs) to make them more accessible for all.
2In the next 10 years, the number of seniors in Singapore aged 65 and above will increase by more than 60% from today. There is a need to make the living environment more conducive for residents as they age. Hence, HDB will be introducing EASE to enhance the safety and comfort of seniors living in HDB flats. EASE will provide the following improvements in the flat:
· Slip-resistant treatment to bathroom/toilet floor tiles
· Grab bars within the flat
· Ramp(s) to negotiate level differences in the flat*
· Ramp at the main entrance*
Residents have the flexibility to choose any combination of the improvements, and pay only for the improvements chosen.
*Note: Where technically feasible
3EASE will be rolled out as optional improvements under HDB’s enhanced Home Improvement Programme (HIP) from July 2012. This will apply to all future HIP projects polled from 1 July 2012 onwards. In addition, EASE will also be extended to on-going HIP projects that have not completed works by 1 July 2012. There will be no age criterion for residents.
4Similar to other upgrading programmes, EASE will be highly subsidised by the government, with the residents paying a small portion of the cost. If a resident selects all the EASE items, the cost will be around $2,000 per flat. As the Government will provide a subsidy of up to 95% of the cost, the resident would pay an amount ranging from $100 to $250, depending on their flat type (see following table).
|Cost of EASE per flat|
|Resident Pays |
5EASE is expected to benefit around 130,000 households with elderly and vulnerable residents and cost the Government about $260 million.
6In addition, there may be elderly and vulnerable residents who may wish to get the improvements earlier, or whose blocks do not qualify for HIP. These residents can apply for EASE through the HDB Branch Offices directly. To qualify, households must have an elderly member who is 70 years old and above; or member aged between 65 and 69 years who requires assistance for one or more of the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) ‘Activities of Daily Living (ADL)’ is a term used in healthcare to refer to daily self-care activities within an individual's place of residence. These activities include washing, dressing, feeding, toileting, mobility and transferring. . HDB will start the direct applications from 1 July 2012 in a couple of HDB towns with more seniors and study the feedback before rolling it out to all estates. This will also help HDB better assess the demand for EASE. More details will be announced later.
7As at January 2012, 548 of the 740 HDB MSCPs are not fitted with lifts. As part of the overall plan to provide convenience to residents and visitors, HDB will be rolling out a 5-year programme to install lifts to all Multi-Storey Car Parks (MSCPs) from 2012 to 2016. Families with young children and the elderly will benefit most from the programme.
8All new HDB MSCPs built from 2007 onwards are fitted with lifts. Residents have found the provision of lifts at MSCPs convenient, especially for those with young children and elderly who have difficulties in climbing up stairs. Many have requested for lift installation at the MSCPs that they use, and Advisers too have been supportive of their requests.
9The government expects to spend $120 million to provide lifts at these remaining MSCPs, subject to feasibility studies. HDB has begun the lift installations at some MSCPs and will be ramping up the works after the completion of Lift Upgrading Programme for residential flats, which is the current priority.
10For enquiries, the public can call the HDB Branch Office Customer Service Line: 1800 2255 432.