Last Saturday, I was at Blk 424 Hougang Ave 10 to announce the launch of a
lift upgrading programme (LUP) for a number of HDB blocks in the precinct.
Because the RC had gone around encouraging residents to come down, there
was a huge turnout, more than I had even seen before for an LUP.
We had a lively exchange. Most residents were happy that, at long last,
the upgrading which they've been asking for would happen. Because of the
internal voids in some of the blocks, a few residents were concerned about
the way new lifts would land on every floor. Not only would there be
considerable inconvenience during the upgrading work, little spaces which
are now largely private might become more public. The owner of one ground
floor unit worried about a new lift shaft serving units above affecting
their privacy. This provoked a sharp exchange with another resident whose
wheelchair-bound mother desperately needed a lift landing. Both had
legitimate concerns and interests which should be properly addressed.
Security is also a big concern.
The key is good design. The RC Chairman, Peter Tang, will chair a working
group which will work with residents, HDB and the architects to ensure the
best design possible for every block within the budget allocations. In the
end, every design is a compromise. We should try to have the lift stop at
every floor at grade at the same time minimizing the negative aspects.
After the formal session, a few older residents asked about payment.
Unlike PRs who do not receive any subsidy, Singaporean owner are subsidized
between 75% to 90%. The total amount they have to pay is capped at $3000.
HDB has various schemes to help those in financial difficulty. For most
residents, the instalment payments are affordable. Many can use their CPF.