New grant to help HDB residents in need of direct lift access: Lawrence Wong

(Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

SINGAPORE — A new lift access housing grant of up to $30,000 will be made available to help those with medical or mobility issues buy a new or resale HDB flat with direct lift access.

This was announced by National Development Minister Lawrence Wong in Parliament on Wednesday (4 March) during his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate. He was responding to questions raised by several Members of Parliament on direct lift access for HDB residents.

Wong noted that there are still 150 HDB blocks that are not eligible for the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP). But direct lift access has been provided for the vast majority of HDB blocks even when the cost cap of $30,000 per household was exceeded in some cases, he added.

“But for the remaining 150 blocks, (for) some of them the LUP is just not technically feasible, regardless of the cost,” said Wong. He noted that in the case of many other blocks, the LUP costs can stretch to over $200,000 per household.

While the government will explore new technical methods to bring down LUP costs, it will not be so easy to make progress on this front, said Wong.

“In the meantime we know that some residents may urgently need direct lift access due to medical or mobility issues. And really it's more cost effective to help them move to another flat,” he noted.

“So if anyone is in need, and they need direct lift access, they don't want to wait, then the grant is available for them to move to a new place, which will have direct lift access,” said Wong.