SINGAPORE - The Home Improvement Programme (HIP), first announced in 2007 for old flats built before 1986, has seen several rounds of enhancements over the years to include more features and modern designs. The programme has also been expanded to benefit more Singapore households.
Here's a look at what's been done so far:
2007 - The Home Improvement Programme is launched for about 320,000 flats built before 1986.
There are two components - essential improvements such as repair of spalling concrete and replacement of waste pipes; and optional improvements, such as toilet upgrading and replacing the main entrance door.
2012 - The Enhancement for Active Seniors (Ease) programme is announced. Households can opt for senior-friendly fittings in bathrooms, such as grab bars, ramps and slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles.
The enhancements are offered together with the HIP so that work for both programmes can be done at the same time, for the convenience of residents.
Residents of blocks that do not qualify for HIP can also apply for the fittings to be installed in their homes.
2014 - Ease is expanded to benefit more households.
The age criterion for direct applicants is lowered.
To be eligible for Ease, households must have family members aged 65 and above - lowered from age 70. Those aged between 60 and 64 - lowered from between 65 and 69 - and require assistance with at least one of the activities of daily living can also apply. These activities include eating, bathing or showering, and using the toilet.
Households with two toilets can opt for slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles and other senior-friendly fittings like grab bars to be installed in both.
2018 - A decade after the programme is launched, HIP is extended to more homes - about 230,000 flats built between 1987 and 1997.
The Ease programme is also enhanced. It now includes ramp solutions for flats with multi-step entrances. Previously, this was available only for flats with single-step entrances.
2020 - The HIP package is refreshed to include more modern and better quality improvement items. These include:
- A retractable clothes drying rack with six horizontal stainless steel poles installed externally.
This replaces the T-shaped rack which provides support on both ends of the laundry pole that was previously offered.
- Laminated timber doors are now an option, in place of veneer doors. These are more scratch-resistant and durable.
The decorative timber door continues to be offered.
- A modern steel grille entrance gate replaces the mild steel gate. It features an interior thumb-turn knob, so residents who prefer not to use a key can unlock the gate from the inside using the knob.
The wrought iron gate continues to be offered as an option.
- The toilet upgrading package is improved. Larger wall and floor tiles with a wider range of modern designs are now available.
Better quality, water-efficient sanitary fittings, comprising a new range of dual flush low-capacity toilet bowls, along with tap and sanitary fittings with better quality finishes are available.