New $500,000 HDB fund to encourage ground-up community activities

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong encouraged residents to apply for the HDB Friendly Faces, Lively Places Fund and foster greater neighbourliness.
National Development Minister Lawrence Wong encouraged residents to apply for the HDB Friendly Faces, Lively Places Fund and foster greater neighbourliness. PHOTO: HDB

SINGAPORE - A new fund of $500,000 has been created to encourage Housing Board residents to initiate ground-up community activities.

Under the HDB Friendly Faces, Lively Places Fund, an expansion of the HDB's Good Neighbours Project scheme, residents can propose community projects and apply for funding of up to $10,000 from the HDB.

This is an increase from the $1,000 funding for each activity under the Good Neighbours Project.

Announcing this at the launch of HDB's Community Week on Friday (May 20), National Development Minister Lawrence Wong encouraged residents to apply for the fund and foster greater neighbourliness.

The fund will be set aside for a five-year period. Applications for funding have opened and will stay open all year round on the HDB website. Activities that receive funding must involve "diverse groups and individuals in the community", and must be free and open to all members of the public.

Mr Wong on Friday also officially opened the new Bedok Town Plaza, a social space which includes a heritage corner capturing the history of East Coast.

The new plaza, along with a recently revamped pedestrian mall at Bedok Town Centre, is part of the Remaking Our Heartland programme which spruces up HDB towns.

To further promote community activities, the HDB has also formed a Town Plaza Activation Team comprising local community partners such as grassroots leaders, schools and the National Arts Council.

Two other town plazas being developed under ROH at Punggol and Yishun will also get activation teams to "encourage greater community ownership and involvement" in the use of these plazas, the HDB said.

Bedok Reservoir resident Jasmine Teo, 49, said she is looking forward to more community activities with the new fund and town plaza.

"It's always good to have new things to learn and experience," said the pre-school teacher.

"I would like to try folk dancing, aerobics and yoga. I just hope I will have the time."