SINGAPORE - Singapore's first assisted living public housing in Bukit Batok for seniors who wish to live on their own and yet enjoy some care, support and communal activities will be launched for sale in next February's Build-To-Order (BTO) exercise.
The new flat typology comes with a mandatory service package to support seniors to age in place, said the Ministry of National Development (MND), Housing Board (HDB) and Ministry of Health (MOH) in a joint statement on Thursday (Dec 10).
Services under the package include 24-hour emergency monitoring and response service, basic health checks, simple home fixes and activities at the communal spaces within the development.
All residents will have to subscribe and pay for the basic service package, which starts from $22,000 for a 15-year lease.
Other services such as housekeeping, laundry, meal delivery and shared caregiving can be added on at an additional cost.
Located in Bukit Batok West Avenue 9, the pilot batch of Community Care Apartments comprises about 160 units and is expected to be completed in 2024.
The flats were scheduled to be launched in May but were delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Each 32 sq m flat comes with senior-friendly fittings including grab bars and wheelchair-accessible bathroom with slip-resistant flooring to allow residents to move around their homes with ease.
The flats have an open layout and come with sliding partitions to separate the living room and bedroom, along with a built-in wardrobe, cabinets and furnished kitchen to reduce renovation time.
There will be furnished communal spaces on each floor for residents to share meals or participate in group activities, which serve as "extensions of their own living rooms", said the agencies.
A community manager will be on-site to organise community activities and help link seniors to care services according to their needs, where necessary.
Residents will also get priority for admission to the nearby Bukit Batok Care Home, should the need arise in the future.
Other amenities within the development include a precinct pavilion, strolling path, activity centre, hawker centre, community garden and fitness station.
Seniors must be 65 and above to apply for these flats. They will be able to choose a lease ranging from 15 to 35 years, in five-year increments, as long as it covers the applicant and their spouse, if any, until they are at least 95 years old.
Prices for these flats start from $40,000 for a 15-year lease to $65,000 for a 35-year lease, and are required to be paid for fully upfront with cash or with Central Provident Fund (CPF) monies.
Government subsidies such as the Silver Housing Bonus, which gives seniors up to $30,000 cash bonus when they sell their existing flat and use the proceeds to top-up their CPF Retirement Account, are applicable.
However, these flats cannot be resold or rented out. Owners who no longer need the flat can return the flat to the HDB, which will refund them the value of the remaining lease of the flat.
Seniors with more pressing care needs, such as those requiring permanent assistance with activities of daily living, will be prioritised for the flats.
From next Monday to March 31, 2021, seniors and members of the public will be able to visit a life-sized showcase of the communal space, along with scale models of the block and flat, at the HDB Hub atrium at Lorong 6 Toa Payoh.
A showroom of the flat will open from Jan 4, 2021.
Visitors must book an appointment via HDB InfoWeb before visiting the exhibition.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, National Development Minister Desmond Lee said the new public housing concept aims to help seniors live independently in the community.
"This pilot will broaden today's options for seniors who require some care and support within their homes, but are still able to and wish to live on their own," he said.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said feedback from seniors and their children, service providers, health professionals, and caregivers was taken into consideration when planning the development.
He said: "Our seniors can look forward to living independently even as their care needs change, and enjoy more opportunities to stay active and take charge of their health through specially curated programmes and services. Seniors and caregivers will also be better able to navigate the spectrum of social and health support services with help from the community manager."