HDB EASE Programme: How to Apply and How Much Does it Cost?

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 it is selected for HIP. 

 

HDB EASE Programme Overview 

What is HDB’s EASE Programme?

EASE is the installation of home improvement items that aims to make your flat elderly-friendly.

Do you need to apply?

Only if your flat has not already been chosen for HDB’s Home Improvement Programme (HIP). You can apply for it via EASE (Direct Application).

Eligibility for EASE Programme

Singaporean flat owner, living with an elderly family member who requires assistance for one or more of the Activities of Daily Living (ADL)

Installations offered under EASE Programme

Slip-resistant treatment to floor tiles, grab bars and ramps

Subsidy given by the government

87.5% to 95%, depending on housing type

However, if you want to have EASE improvements installed earlier, 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. 

 

HDB EASE: Anti-slip flooring, grab bars and wheelchair-friendly ramps 

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

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

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) Wheelchair-friendly 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 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)

 

HDB EASE Subsidies by the Government

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: 

HDB EASE cost breakdown (single-step ramp):

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%)

HDB EASE cost breakdown (portable ramp):

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%)

HDB EASE cost breakdown (customised ramp):

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. 

HDB EASE cost breakdown (individual items):

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 HDB 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.

 

HDB EASE Programme application process 

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.

The good news is that you are not alone in making your home safe and welcoming for your parents/grandparents. The government is making efforts to include more elderly-inclusive facilities for them too!

 

More FAQ on HDB EASE Programme

What is EASE HDB?

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

Can I apply for the HDB EASE Programme if I live with a younger disabled family member who is below 60 years old?

This programme aims to prioritize elderly households. However, should a younger family member require the EASE installations, you may apply via EASE (Direct Application) e-Service on the HDB portal. HDB will access the situation for you.  

How long will the EASE installations take?

According to HDB, you can expect the full EASE installations to be fixed within a day. 

What happens to the EASE installations when I sell my flat?

You are required to remove the installations (more specifically, the ramp solution for multi-step main entrance) on your own cost before selling the flat. 

Can elderly buy HDB flats?

Yes, they can! With the introduction of the Silver Housing Bonus, HDB offers sufficient housing options for our seniors. Read about how Mdm Chu settled seamlessly into her HDB flat here.

 

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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