Faster flat upgrades, more modern lifts and spruced up neighbourhoods for HDB estates: Khaw

SINGAPORE - Upgrading programmes for Housing Board estates are being boosted, with more neighbourhoods getting spruced up, older flats upgraded quicker, and ageing lifts replaced.

These changes were prompted by feedback from MPs and residents, as well as the need to ensure that old towns are up to par with newer ones, said National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan on Wednesday (Sept 10).

About 50,000 flats built in 1986 or before will be upgraded under the Home Improvement Programme annually for the next two years, up from 35,000.

Neighbourhood upgrading will also be extended to blocks built up to 1995, benefiting 100,000 more homes in over 1,300 blocks in middle-aged towns such as Choa Chu Kang, Pasir Ris and Tampines. Previously, only blocks built up to 1989 were eligible.

The upgrading of neighbourhoods and blocks will now also include repainting and repair works, which were previously done under the Town Councils' routine maintenance.

About 750 lifts in towns like Choa Chu Kang and Pasir Ris will also be replaced with modern ones under a new Selective Lift Replacement Programme. The new features, which will benefit some 33,000 households, include energy efficient motors, vision panels for added security, and infra-red doors with motion safety sensors.

"The end results of these efforts are progressively better HDB towns," said Mr Khaw, who was speaking at the HDB Awards ceremony at Shangri-La Hotel. "This is as how it should be."