23 Mar 2012, 5.19PM
Some contributors point out that some older Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats are not elderly or disabled-friendly as their doorways are too narrow or have steps that are inaccessible. They ask if HDB will consider re-designing the old flats, and if such considerations are factored into the designs of new HDB flats.
HDB has since replied to our contributors on the REACH discussion thread
, to explain how the design of HDB flats has evolved to meet the needs of an ageing society.
“With changing lifestyle needs and a progressively ageing society, creating homes that are convenient and safe has taken on greater importance for HDB. The design of HDB flats has evolved to meet such needs. For new contracts tendered from Jul 2006 onwards, HDB has implemented Universal Design (UD) features within and outside the flats that improve the utility of the flat for wheelchair bound users.
A series of UD features can be found in our HDB Infoweb, via this link:
For Studio Apartments, please access via this link:
Older flats are also not forgotten, the Home Improvement Programme (HIP) helps flat lessees deal with common maintenance problems related to ageing flats in a systematic and comprehensive manner. This allows flat lessees to age in place in familiar surroundings. To make the living environment more conducive for residents as they age, the Government also announced Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) in March 2012 to enhance the safety and comfort of seniors living in HDB flats. EASE will be rolled out as optional improvements under HDB’s enhanced HIP from July 2012. Under EASE, the following improvements in the flat will be offered and residents have the flexibility to choose any combination of the improvements, and pay only for the improvements chosen:
*Note: Where technically feasible
- Slip-resistant treatment to bathroom/toilet floor tiles
- Grab bars within the flat
- Ramp(s) to negotiate level differences in the flat*
- Ramp at the main entrance*