Residents whose Housing Development Board (HDB) flats are eligible for upgrading under the extended Home Improvement Programme (HIP) can expect to see new and better quality fittings in their homes, said HDB on Monday (30 March).
Under the extended HIP, about 230,000 flats built between 1987 and 1997 will be qualified for the upgrade. The first batch of flats, comprising some 55,000 units, will be offered the extended HIP starting from this year.
The extended HIP package will include a wider range of contemporary and better quality improvement items, such as retractable clothes drying rack, laminated timber doors, and modern walls and floor tiles.
The Government is expected to spend more than S$2 billion to upgrade these flats.
Retractable Clothes Drying Rack
Considering the safety and convenience of elderly residents, HDB has developed a new laundry rack with six horizontal stainless steel poles installed externally, which can be extended and retracted within the frame of the rack.
Not only does this require less effort to use, it is also safer for residents as they no longer need to lift and manoeuvre heavy bamboo poles out of the window to hang or retrieve their laundry.
More Durable Main Entrance Door and Gate
Besides that, residents can choose to have a laminated timber door in place of a veneer door. The former is said to be more scratch-resistant and durable.
Residents can also choose to replace their current mild steel gate to a modern steel grille entrance gate with an interior thumb-turn knob.
“The new steel grille entrance gate comes in more contemporary designs, and features an interior thumb-turn knob so residents who prefer not to use a key can unlock the gate from the inside using the knob,” said HDB, adding that the wrought iron gate will still be offered as an option, should residents prefer to unlock the gate with a key.
Toilet / Bathroom Package
Additionally, HDB will offer larger wall and floor tiles in a wider range of modern designs, to provide a contemporary look and feel, and allow for better visual continuity.
According to HDB, “The walls will be fitted with 300mm x 600mm tiles, instead of 250mm x 200mm tiles, while the floor will be fitted with 300mm x 300mm tiles instead of 200mm x 200mm tiles.”
HDB will also introduce better quality, water-efficient sanitary fittings, comprising a new range of dual flush low capacity WCs, along with tap and sanitary fittings with better quality finishes.
“All fittings such as basins and taps, toilet cisterns will have a rating of at least ‘Very Good’ under Public Utilities Board (PUB)’s Water Efficient Labelling Scheme,” added HDB.
The HIP is heavily subsidised by the Government to ensure that it is affordable for residents, which is up to 95% of the total cost. Hence, Singaporean households will only need to pay between 5% and 12.5% of the cost for the optional improvements of their choice.
The maximum amount payable for a full suite of optional improvements will range from $550 to $1,375, depending on the type of flat.