SINGAPORE: About 105,000 households have applied for the Enhancement for Active Seniors Programme (EASE) to make their flats elderly-friendly with features such as grab bars, slip-resistant floor tiles in toilets and wheelchair ramps.
The Housing and Development Board (HDB) gave this update on Monday (Dec 26), saying since 2012, an estimated S$30 million has been used to enhance senior citizens' homes with such features.
A 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 which is meant to upgrade ageing flats, thirty years old or older that have not undergone the Main Upgrading Programme.
Retiree Sim Kok Keng, 72, said prior to getting elder-friendly features installed in his flat last month, he had injured himself entering the toilet and broken some bones in his feet. He has been using a cane since the accident. "I used to have to lean on walls and chairs for support. I don't have to anymore," he said, of the EASE upgrade.
So far, 200,000 flats have applied for the Home Improvement Programme and a total of 74,000 flats have been upgraded. Works are still in progress for another 93,000 flats.
HDB said it expects to spend S$464 million for the HIP and S$19 million for EASE for the financial year ending March 2017.