By Romesh Navaratnarajah: Residents from 770 households in Blocks 134 to 139 Bedok North Street 2 are the first HDB dwellers in Singapore to benefit from the government's "HIP with EASE" programme.
All HIP (Home Improvement Programme) projects will be entitled to additional optional items under the EASE (Enhancement for Active Seniors) programme. They can choose any combination of improvements and pay only for the chosen improvements.
"There may be elderly and vulnerable residents who may wish to get the improvements earlier, or whose blocks do not qualify for HIP. HDB will be starting the direct applications in Bukit Merah and Kallang/Whampoa, and will study the feedback over the next few months before rolling out direct applications to all estates," said the housing board.
Around 16,000 households across these two towns may apply to HDB for the programme directly.
First introduced in March, EASE aims to enhance the safety and comfort of elderly flat dwellers. Rental blocks will also be offered EASE when HDB implements it in various towns, or when the blocks are entitled to HIP.
At an estimated cost of S$260 million, EASE will benefit around 130,000 HDB households islandwide.
The programme is highly subsidised by the government so eligible flat owners only need to pay a small amount. Opting for the full scope of works would cost owners around S$2,000 per flat.
However, since the government will shoulder as much as 95 percent of the cost, residents only need to pay between S$100 and S$250, depending on their flat type. Related Stories: HDB issues S$585m fixed rate notes due 2024
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