When you’re living in the same place for a long time, it’s always good to see something new in your neighbourhood. With the Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP) in place, residents can expect to see a fresh breath of life injected into their neighbourhoods.
What is the HDB NRP?
The HDB NRP was introduced in August 2007, and is aimed at improving amenities in neighbourhood precincts. HDB upgrades would be made based on residents’ feedback, ensuring that any improvements would appeal to the majority.
The HDB NRP is part of a larger HDB upgrading programme, which includes the Home Improvement Programme and Lift Upgrading Programme. All three HDB upgrading programmes aim to enhance the overall living environments of estates, making them a more pleasant and convenient place to live in.
Fully funded by the government, the HDB NRP is implemented by the various town councils around Singapore, and focuses on block and precinct improvements. The HDB NRP replaces the current Interim Upgrading Programme (IUP) Plus, and covers areas that span two or more neighbouring precincts.
Blocks eligible for the upgrade include those that were built before 1996 and have not undergone the Main Upgrading Programme, IUP, or IUP Plus.
What is included in the HDB NRP programme?
Improvements for the neighbourhood are proposed by the residents and assessed by HDB.
For HDB flats, some of the possible amenity upgrades could be a resident’s corner and a seating area at void decks. Aesthetic upgrades could include newer letterboxes, and new lift lobby tiles at the first floor.
Precinct level improvements across the neighbourhood have been met with a lot of enthusiasm. Residents have provided suggestions such as a drop-off porch, covered linkways, a pavilion and better landscaping. They have also given ideas for amenities such as a footpath, jogging track, a fitness corner, a street soccer pitch, and more playgrounds for children.
From 2015 onwards, projects selected by the NRP will include the repainting of blocks and repair works. Repairs will include things such as concrete crack lines, apron floors and drains. These will run concurrently with the Town Council’s current routine maintenance programmes, so residents are not inconvenienced twice.
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How does the public consultation work?
Residents are encouraged to provide feedback on possible improvements that they would like to see in the future. This could be done through a wide host of mediums such as Town Hall meetings, dialogue sessions, block parties, mini-exhibitions, and surveys. The Town Council that is implementing the NRP will then gather these proposals and determine their feasibility.
Afterwards, better ideas will be incorporated into the design proposal for a Consensus Gathering Exercise. Final proposals must meet 75% of residential support before they can be carried out. This ensures that the proposed improvements meet the needs of most residents, and promotes a sense of ownership over the upgrade works. It also inspires confidence in the residents, as they know their needs and wants are being listened to and met accordingly.
What are the other HDB upgrading programmes?
Some of the other items in the HDB upgrading programmes include the Lift Upgrading Programme, and the HDB’s Home Improvement Programme (HIP).
What is HDB’s Lift Upgrading Programme?
The Lift Upgrading Programme aims to upgrade older lifts
The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) is an HDB upgrading programme that aims to improve lift access, given that lifts in older flats were not built to stop at every floor. For example, residents living on the eighth storey might have to take the lift to the tenth floor and walk down the stairs.
As residents in these older flats tend to be the elderly, this can be very inconvenient for them. Heavy groceries and weaker joints may contribute to an increased chance of falls and injuries. Lifts not stopping at every floor can also be troublesome for contractors and renovators.
Older flats may have less than ideal living conditions and amenities compared to newer flats. As such, the Lift Upgrading Programme is aimed at upgrading these lifts to serve every floor as well as last longer. If you have an elderly family member who is looking at moving into a home with better amenities, a new BTO flat may be the way to go.
Make sure to check out the various CPF housing grants provided by the government to minimize your costs.
What is HDB’s Home Improvement Programme?
The Home Improvement Programme is an HDB upgrading programme that includes three options: Essential, Optional, and the Enhancement for Active Seniors scheme (EASE).
Essential improvements are improvements that are considered necessary for public health, safety, and technical considerations. This includes repairs for structural damage, replacement of soil discharge stacks (if there are leaks and cracks) and pipe sockets, as well as upgrading electrical loads.
Optional improvements are good to have, but you can opt out of them if you wish to save money. You can also choose to just pick one of the various options instead, and pay accordingly. These changes will include new metal grills for your gates, upgrades to your toilets, a new decorative front door. If you’re using an in-built rubbish chute, you can also opt for a new refuse chute hopper.
Those who decide to opt out of the optional toilet upgrades will have to undergo a water test first. This test ensures that your toilet is not causing a ceiling leak in the flat beneath yours.
There is also the EASE programme, which aims to support the elderly in their homes and around their estates. It also caters to the physically disabled, who might be facing mobility issues from being wheelchair-bound. The scheme includes the provision of fixtures such as grab bars and metal ramps to ease daily living.
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