One Balestier

Veterans or seniors occupying the old flats which have multi-step entrances can expect to go out and get in their homes with huge comfort and ease.

This happens as the HDB or Housing and Development Board will stretch its EASE or Enhancement for Active Seniors program which covers additional two great features, the portable ramp and customised ramp.

HDB divulged the existing of more or less 170,000 flats in multi-step entrances around Singapore. It stressed that those ramps to be implemented will be on December 05 and it syncs with most of the flats for the said entrances.

Lawrence Wong, the Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance announced the previous day, ” For entrances in single -step, it’s simple. We got a remedy. But for entrances in multi-step, it’s bit complex due to some areas where there are less access or corridor areas.” He further added ramps for the said spaces are not available in the market yet,  therefore, HDB collaborated with top engineers for like two years to arrive with a unique design.

He added that ramps for these spaces are not readily commercially available, so the HDB worked with engineers over two years to come up with the designs. He was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to Tampines Changkat division in Tampines GRC. Mr Desmond Choo, adviser to Tampines Grassroots Organisations, hosted the visit.

The portable new ramps are best for flats with enough space in the entrance’s front like those which are positioned along the corner side of the block.

The customized new ramps which are calibrated per configuration of the space and flat’s entrance are best for those living around the corridor.

To enjoy the privilege, the flat owner should be a Singapore citizen and having a family member who is at age 65 years and already assisted under a wheelchair, or aged 60 – 64 and needs help but who can no longer manage their daily health care like bathing, dressing and brisk walking.

“The homeowners whose units are under the program of Home Improvement Programme or HIP will be the beneficiary of the EASE project in collaboration with the HIP. They will be given the chance to have ramps installed,” told HDB.

HDB’s designated contractor will help examine the area and advise the occupants the best ramp works for their home entrance.

In cases when ramps are not possible because of area’s restrictions, some other options are provided such as the mechanical wheelchair lifter which fits HDB estates.

To be implemented in a different new project, the lifter is more expensive compared to ramps and needs a periodic maintenance.

Flat owners can request for wheelchair lifter in their residence for a voucher of 50 percent plus an annual service charge of $80, payable on the succeeding years to come.

Meantime, unit owners who find these remedy as not congruent to their case can anytime see the HDB to explore other options.