Town councils to receive additional grants to maintain and replace lifts

Town Councils will be getting two additional grants to help with lift maintenance and replacement.
Town Councils will be getting two additional grants to help with lift maintenance and replacement. ST PHOTO: SEAH KWANG PENG

SINGAPORE - Town councils will get double the funding to help pay for lift maintenance and replacement, amid concerns over lift safety following a spate of incidents in 2016.

This comes in the form of two grants, the Ministry of National Development (MND) said on Thursday (Feb 2).

The Lift Maintenance Grant (LMG) gives the 16 town councils $600 per lift they own, to "help them cope with higher lift-related servicing and maintenance costs", MND said.

It will also match half the amount town councils put into a newly mandated Lift Replacement Fund (LRF), to ensure that there are sufficient funds to replace existing lifts.

Last week , MND announced that town councils must set aside a minimum of 14 per cent of their income for the LRF .

 

The LMG is expected to cost the Government $13 million a year, while the matching grant for the LRF is expected to cost over $50 million this year, with the grant quantum likely to increase as the town councils build up their funds over time.

These grants come on the back of last September's $450 million Lift Enhancement Programme. Under this voluntary scheme, the Housing Board will give town councils around 90 per cent of the funding required to modernise lifts of up to 18 years of age over the next 10 years, by installing recommended safety features. Town councils will pay the remainder.

In total, town councils will receive more than $100 million of additional funding a year.

Said the MND in a statement: "This is a substantial package to help the Town Councils with their running costs, and assist them with their lift modernisation and asset replacement programmes."

But it added that town councils are still ultimately responsible for maintaining lift safety in Housing Board estates: "While the Government is extending significant financial support, Town Councils still need to do their part to plan ahead and take appropriate and timely steps to ensure that their long-term finances are sustainable."