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Elderly friendly upgrades to HDB

Enhancement for Active Seniors (Ease) programme

What is the Home Improvement Programme (HIP)?

The Home Improvement Programme (HIP), is an initiative by HDB to help resolve common maintenance problems of aging flats. The HIP was introduced in 2007 for flats that were built up to 1986. In 2018, it was extended to include flats built between 1987 and 1997. 

What is included in HIP?

There are 3 components to HIP 

  1. Essential
  2. Optional
  3. Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) Improvements

In this article, we will focus on the Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) Improvements. EASE’s main goal is to enhance the safety and comfort of seniors living in HDB flats. There are a few options homeowners can choose from based on their needs and the condition of their house:

  • Slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles of 2 toilets/ bathrooms
  • Grab bars (available in white or reddish brown) in 2 toilets/ bathrooms
  • Ramps to navigate level differences in the flat and at the main entrance, where technically feasible [Ramp at the main entrance will be offered for entrances with single-step ramp, portable ramp or customised ramp for multi-step main entrance, and if technically feasible, for e.g., no space constraints or compliance to authorities’ requirements].

Ramps and electric wheelchair lifter installation at HDB

There are about 170,000 HDB flats with such multi-step entrances, a feature from some slab blocks built in the 1970s and 1980s to offer privacy from passers-by.

The entrance steps pose as an obstacle for wheelchair users. Under Ease, home owners can get subsidies for wheelchair ramps and wheelchair lifter (depending on suitability) installation. Home users can apply for subsidies of up to 95 per cent of the cost of the improvement items. This means the amount an eligible flat owner would pay for a ramp ranges from $35 to $200, depending on the flat type.

Eligibility of home owners

Residents whose flats are undergoing the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) can opt for the items under Ease as well, while those without HIP can apply directly to HDB.

To be eligible, the flat owner must be a Singaporean, with at least one household member who is aged 65 years old and above and a wheelchair user, or is aged between 60 and 64 years old and requires help with daily activities such as bathing or feeding.

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