Housing & Development Board (HDB) has announced that close to 105,500 households have applied for a Enhancement for Active Seniors Programme (EASE) to enhance home safety, such as grab bars, slip-resistant floor tiles in toilets and wheelchair ramps, for the elderly since it was launched in 2012.

HDB stated that out of this number, total of 42,200 households signed up for EASE under the Direct Application Scheme. While the other 63,000 households did so together with the Home Improvement Programme (HIP), launched in 2007, which is meant to upgrade ageing flats, thirty years old or older that have not undergone the Main Upgrading Programme, such as upgrading of toilets and installation of new doors at units.

Photo from HDB
Photo from HDB

It also said that as of March 2016, an estimated S$30 million has been used to enhance senior citizens’ homes with such features, saying that the Government subsidises up to 95 per cent of the cost for Ease. While, Singapore Citizen households pay between S$125 and S$312.50, depending on their flat type.

HDB had also expanded the Ease programme since 2014, by lowering the age criteria for direct application, for households with elderly who are 65 years old, down from 70 years old.

While, for the other group which qualifies, elderly who require assistance for at least one of the Activities of Daily Living, the age range is now 60 to 64 years old, lowered from 65 to 69 years old.

It also stated that for households with two toilets, slip-resistance treatment to floor tiles and grab bars were made available for the second toilet.

The HDB stated that about 220,000 flats are slated for works under the HIP as of the end of last month. Upgrading works have been completed for 74,000 flats and 93,000 are undergoing works.

The Government said that it is expected to spend another S$464 million on HIP and S$19 million on Ease by March next year.

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