HDB’s EASE Programme: How to Apply if Your Flat Isn’t Selected

An elderly man with his arm wrapped around his wife at home

The Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) programme is a government initiative to help elderly residents living in HDB flats. Under this subsidised scheme, improvements such as ramps and slip-resistant floor tiles will be added to HDB flats to ensure that they are more elderly-friendly. 

As EASE is part of HDB’s Home Improvement Programme (HIP), which is a government scheme that makes old HDB flats more livable and safe, these improvements will automatically be installed in your flat if its selected for HIP. 

However, if you want to have EASE improvements installed ahead, or if your flat isn’t selected, you can apply for it via EASE (Direct Application).

But before we get into that, let’s take a look at what EASE will cover, cost, application process,  and eligibility criteria.

 

What are the installations offered under HDB’s EASE programme? 

There are 3 main modifications under EASE, these are: 

  1. Slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles
  2. Grab bars
  3. Ramps

You can apply for the entire 3-item package, or only for individual items. Let’s take a closer look at each item.

1) Slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles

ALT text: EASE programme helps to improve the safety in your toilet and washroom by including slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles

EASE programme helps to improve the safety in your toilet and washroom by including slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles

Slip resistant treatment to floor tiles under the EASE programme will make toilets safer for the elderly (Source: HDB)

Under the EASE programme, you can apply for slip-resistant treatment for existing toilet floor tiles, for up to 2 bathrooms or toilets. 

2) Grab Bars

ALT text: EASE programme helps to improve the safety in your toilet and washroom by including grab bars

EASE programme helps to improve the safety in your toilet and washroom by including grab bars

Grab bars installed under HDB’s EASE programme will make it easier for the elderly to use the toilet

Offered as a set, grab bars can be installed in the toilet(s) and other parts of the house. 

The first set consists of 8 or 10 grab bars to be installed in the first toilet and other parts of the flat.  

The second set of grab bars will be for the second toilet, if technically feasible.  

3) Ramps

Customised ramps installed outside a HDB flat as part of HDB’s EASE programme

Ramps are a simple way to make HDB areas more wheelchair friendly (Source: Lawrence Wong's Facebook Profile)

 

Ramps are useful especially if there’s an elderly family member at home who is wheelchair-bound. 

Up to a maximum of 5 ramps can be installed within your flat and/or outside the main entrance. 

Here are the 3 types of ramps that can be installed: 

  • Single-step ramp 
  • Portable ramp (for multi-step main entrance)
  • Customised ramp (for multi-step main entrance)

 

Here’s how much gets subsidised under EASE? 

The estimated total cost of the full 3-item package starts at $2,500 (before subsidies), with the actual amount varying depending on the ramp type to be installed. 

How much you’ll eventually need to pay will also depend on your flat type, with the government subsidising up to 95% of the total cost. 

Let’s say the total cost of outfitting a 2-room flat with the full package including single-step ramps is $2,500. Of this amount, the government will cover 95% of the total cost at $2,375. This means that you’ll only need to pay $125 in cash.

Here’s a table of the estimated costs for the full 3-item package, factoring in government subsidies: 

Full EASE Package with Single-Step Ramp

Flat type

1/2/3-room

4-room

5-room

Executive

How much you’ll need to pay

$125 (5%)

$187.50 (7.5%)

$250 (10%)

$312.50 (12.5%)

How much the government covers

$2,375 (95%)

$2,312.50 (92.5%)

$2,250 (90%)

$2,187.50 (87.5%)

 

Full EASE Package with Portable Ramp

Flat type

1/2/3-room

4-room

5-room

Executive

How much you’ll need to pay

$147 (5%)

$220.50 (7.5%)

$294 (10%)

$367.50 (12.5%)

How much the government covers

$2,793 (95%)

$2,719.50 (92.5%)

$2,646 (90%)

$2,572.50 (87.5%)

 

Full EASE Package with Customised Ramp

Flat type

1/2/3-room

4-room

5-room

Executive

How much you’ll need to pay

$192 (5%)

$288 (7.5%)

$384 (10%)

$480 (12.5%)

How much the government covers

$3,648 (95%)

$3,552 (92.5%)

$3,456 (90%)

$3,360 (87.5%)


As mentioned previously, you can also opt to select individual items to be installed at your home. 

Here’s a table with the estimated cost you’ll need to pay for them: 

Slip-resistant treatment to existing floor tiles of one bathroom/toilet (up to 2 bathrooms/toilets)

$11

$16.50

$22

$27.50

Installation of 1st set of grab bars within flat

$24

$36

$48

$60

Installation of 2nd set of grab bars within flat

$14

$21

$28

$35

Single-step ramp (per ramp)

$13

$19.50

$26

$32.50

Portable ramp

$35

$52.50

$70

$87.50

Customised ramp

$80

$120

$160

$200


As seen from the table, if you’re living in an EC, you’ll receive a subsidy of up to 87.5%. If you’re living in a HDB flat, the subsidy is more generous and will range from 90% to 95% 

If you’re an elderly person living in a HDB rental block, the government will fully pay for your EASE upgrades.

If you’re also thinking of renovating your home to make it more elderly-friendly, be sure to read our guide on the best practices and hidden costs when working with a renovation contractor.

Home Improvement

If you’re also thinking of renovating your home to make it more elderly-friendly, be sure to read our guide on the best practices and hidden costs when working with a renovation contractor.

 

Eligibility for EASE (Direct Application) Programme 

Want to have EASE improvements installed in your HDB flat? You can apply for the improvements under the EASE (Direct Application) programme. 

In order to qualify for the EASE (Direct Application) programme, you have to be a Singaporean flat owner living with a family member who is: 

  • 65 years old and above 
  • Aged between 60 and 64, and requires assistance for one or more of the Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

ADL are defined as activities involving daily self-care within the place of residence. This includes washing, bathing, dressing, eating, going to the toilet, mobility, and transferring things from one place to another.

 

What’s the application process for HDB’s EASE programme? 

You can submit your application through the following channels: 

If you’re living with a family member between 60 to 64 years of age who requires assistance for one of the ADLs, you’ll need to first fill up a Functional Assessment Report before submitting your EASE application. 

This report has to be approved by a qualified assessor, such as a doctor who is registered with the Singapore Medical Council. You’ll need to submit this report during the EASE application. 

The HDB Branch managing your estate will then get back to you within 7 working days of receiving your application. Following this, a HDB staff or an HDB appointed contractor will contact you to arrange for a pre-condition survey/installation date. 

The entire process, from application to installation, will take about a month.

 

What other ways for me to make my home more elderly-friendly?

Installing grab bars and ramps are not the only ways to make your flat safer for elderly family members. Here are some adjustments that you can make at home to ensure that your home is elderly-friendly, reducing the likelihood of them falling at home. 

1) Don’t leave electrical cords lying around

Electrical cords can trip senior citizens, who might not be able to see clearly and move fast enough to avoid them or stabilise themselves. While a trip like that might be trivial for younger individuals, such accidents can result in broken bones and severe injuries for old folks.

2) Switch to automated cookware

Forgetfulness is simply part and parcel of growing old. To minimise the risk of an unattended fire, purchase electric kettles that switch off once the water boils. 

You might want to get induction stovetops too, as they utilise electromagnetic currents instead of gas. This can help reduce the likelihood of a fire if a stove is left unattended.

3) Avoid surfaces that are slippery and prone to tripping

Polished marble floors may look nice and luxurious, but they tend to get extremely slippery when wet. On the other hand, a carpet might crease and cause an elderly member to trip. 

One method to work around this is to introduce rubber-soled slippers to your home. However, do remember to replace them when the soles wear out.

 

Planning to renovate your home? Be sure to read our guide on HDB’s renovation permits and guidelines.

Home Improvement

Planning to renovate your home? Be sure to read our guide on HDB’s renovation permits and guidelines.

To get more guides like this, check out PropertyGuru.

Property Guides

To get more guides like this, check out PropertyGuru.

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