Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CNA: Number of HDB blocks eligible for lift upgrading up from 2001

Number of HDB blocks eligible for lift upgrading up from 2001
By Hoe Yeen Nie, Channel NewsAsia 19 October 2009

SINGAPORE: The number of public housing blocks eligible for lift upgrading has gone up.

When the lift upgrading programme (LUP) started in 2001, 5,300 blocks did not have full lift access. Of these, 1,000 did not qualify due to the high cost of upgrading. But now, that number has dropped to 200.

Eligible blocks are those where the cost of fitting lifts on every floor, averages a maximum of S$30,000 per unit.

But due to the layout of some blocks, average costs could range from S$40,000 to over S$120,000.

That is about 40 per cent of the value of a three- to four-room flat and the Ministry of National Development said it does not make sense to have upgrading works there.

However, housing authorities have made upgrading cheaper over the years by building smaller lifts for low-rise blocks and adopting new types of lift landings.

They said the S$30,000 cap will remain even if there may be a high number of elderly residents in the blocks.

Senior Minister of State for National Development, Grace Fu, said: "At this moment, we do not have any plans to extend LUP at any cost so it has to be limited to certain cost considerations.

"But we are looking for solutions. We hope that we're able to bring solutions to some of these blocks."

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