SINGAPORE - From April 1 this year, all town councils will have to set aside a minimum of 14 per cent of their service and conservancy charges (S&CC) collected from residents, and of government grants, into a dedicated lift replacement fund.
This is on top of existing regular contributions - at least 26 per cent of town councils' collections - to the general sinking fund. But town councils will also get more grants from the Ministry of National Development (MND) to help cover their costs.
The requirement for town councils to set up a dedicated lift replacement fund was announced last September, as part of an overall push to improve Housing Board lift performance and reliability.
On Monday (Jan 23), the MND announced the specific amount that town councils will have to put into this fund, having worked with the town councils on the implementation details.
The MND added that it will increase the S&CC operating grants it currently gives to the town councils to help cover their costs, and also provide additional grants to match part of the town councils' contributions to their lift replacement fund.
Details of these assistance measures will be released separately, said the MND, without elaborating.
Explaining the need for the increase, the MND said: "As our HDB estate infrastructure gets older, more expenditure will be needed for the maintenance and replacement of these infrastructure assets. Town councils must therefore plan ahead and contribute more to their sinking funds to pay for these major expenses, for example, repainting of HDB blocks, maintenance of building facades, replacement of lifts and water pumps (and so on)."
In September, the HDB had also announced the $450 million Lift Enhancement Programme to co-fund the town councils' costs of retrofitting older lifts with safety features and enhancements.