Parliament: Govt reviewing guidelines on private retirement villages

Prospective buyers at the launch of The Hillford, marketed to be a retirement village with its shorter leases, in February 2014.
Prospective buyers at the launch of The Hillford, marketed to be a retirement village with its shorter leases, in February 2014.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Government is looking at measures to pave the way for private housing developments that want to let elderly residents age in place.

In a written response to Non-Constituency MP Daniel Goh, National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said his ministry is "reviewing the Development Control guidelines to provide more clarity on retirement housing developments."

In 2014, all 281 units in The Hillford, marketed to be a retirement village with its shorter leases, were snapped up in a few hours - mostly by younger buyers eager to own homes in the exclusive Bukit Timah area.

Mr Wong said the Government will continue to explore more new models in both public and private housing, and share more details when ready.

Prof Goh had asked if the Government had studied different retirement village models, and whether these were suitable for future ageing seniors.

But while the authorities have studied various models like those in Australia and Japan, they "cannot simply transplant these overseas models", Mr Wong said in his reply.

Singapore's seniors have "expressed a strong preference to age in place, in the communities where they live," and this is why the Government has been designing public housing that can provide care and support, Mr Wong added.

These include eldercare facilities such as Senior Activity Centres in HDB estates.

The Government also took things one step further with Kampung Admiralty in Sembawang, where an 11-storey complex integrated residential units, medical and surgical services, childcare and eldercare centres and shops.

At its Active Ageing Hub, seniors can take advantage of various assisted living services like housekeeping or grocery delivery, rehabilitation and medical care.

Said Mr Wong: "Senior residents can access a continuum of social and health services at the Active Ageing Hub to support them as their needs evolve."