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23 Mar 2012, 5.19PM
REACH Administrator
by REACH Administrator
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:
  • 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*
*Note: Where technically feasible

 comments & replies
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10 Dec 2012, 3.53PM
The current HIP scheme for older design of HDB Flats are not cater for the elderly:

1.    Why the floor tiles for the bathrooms offered in the HIP scheme are not of anti-slip?

2.    Why the door offered for the bathrooms in the HIP scheme is too narrow for access to wheelchair users?

As an ageing society, HDB's HIP scheme should be for all types of residents! Can HDB take this into consideration in the HIP and EASE so as to make the living environment more conducive for elderly residents included the wheelchair users too!  What the elderly and wheelchair users needs is wider door way for access to bathroom and anti-slip floors!

4 May 2012, 12.39AM
HDB estates need to grow 3 times more trees. The current HDB estates looks like a parade ground.
2 Apr 2012, 9.09AM
Bad Deals for Elderly Studio Apartment

Here are the facts:
1) Studio Apartments (SA) are over-priced: For a short 30 years lease, Studios are selling at average $100K  which is effectively equivalent to $330K @ 99years lease (30 yrs x 3.3=99yrs). That means an elderly is in fact buying at $330,000 studio apartment but at a pro-rated 30 years lease. All New HDBs/ECs leases are 99 years. 

SA should be selling below $50K for these group of aging people with little or no income!!!

2) Studio Apartment Cannot be sold in open Market: There is no potential of keeping up property markets (resale or private) or inflation. Therefore, any pro-rate refund for unused portion of the lease will be effectively be smaller as time goes by. In other word, the refund will not let you catch up with private apartments or resale HDBs.

3) First-Timer Chance Considered Used in Studio Apartment: Citizens who had bought two new HDBs/ECs previously (used up his/her two chances) can still buy Studio apartment. However, not the other way round! If you buy first a studio apartment, you are considered to have used up your one chance!!!

Can anyone understand this absurd logic of HDB????

4) Studio Apartment does not have Grant/Discount like other New HDBs/ECs: Life is TOUGH in Singapore when you are old!

I hope HDB look into above matters seriously because you will grow old too! Guaranteed. 

1 Sep 2012, 11.23AM
Yes, SA is truely overpriced with the bundled restrictions. HDB must be thinking that seniors are loaded as the household income for applicant must not exceed $10K.
1) For  a 30-years lease, long-term rental, a $100K SA works up to a monthly rental of $277.77. And, that doesn't include the S&CC and utilities.
From HDB website, ""The rents payable are aligned to the monthly household gross income as follows:
Monthly Household Income / Household Type / Monthly Rent* / 1-Room / 2-Room
Household Income of $800 or less
First-timer / $26 - $33 / $44 - $75 // Second-timer / $90 - $123 / $123 - $165
Household Income Between $801 And $1,500
First-timer / $90 - $123 / $123 - $165 // Second-timer / $150 - $205 / $205 - $275
* Rates are pegged at HDB market rent and are subject to changes.""
These HDB-rental rates are normally for a short-term rental, but, SA is a 30-years term. Shouldn't SA be priced with a 30-year rental in mind and economy of scale be practised in its pricing?

2) Pricing SA, as mentioned herein, on the same platform as other 99-year leasehold HDB's unit is an eye-glaring mistake. And, it cannot be sold in an open market.

3) The SA came with standard kitchen fittings which might not be practical to everybody. For example, I will not cook, why do I need a cooker hood/gas hob. Why do I need built-in cabinets - to keep *****roaches? Kitchen should be left unfurnished to be flexible to lessees.

I hope HDB will review its pricing and make the necessary corrections for lessees committed with the SA units during the previous launches.
24 Mar 2012, 9.51PM
We should consider practical additions, not merely cosmetic-pattern and matching colours of tiles etc.

Two additions under study should be 1. pulley system in hanging clothes, as the current pole methodology requires final adjustments, and dryer adds too much energy costs for retirees budgets and 2. intercom phones in bathrooms in case elders demand urgent assistance.


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