Government to pour in over $1b into upgrading private, public estates

Victor Kang14 Oct 2019

HDB flats in Bukit Panjang

Meanwhile, the government will also upgrade 55,000 HDB flats under the second round of the Home Improvement Programme (HIP), which is set to start from next year onwards. 

In a bid to support stakeholders in the built environment industry, the government will spend a significant amount of over $1 billion into upgrading private and public estates in the next few years, reported Today Online.

“In the current economic climate, our assurance is that we will continue to have a good pipeline of public sector projects which, hopefully, will provide support for our important industry partners, be they consultants or contractors,” said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong.

Speaking at the Ministry of National Development’s (MND) annual get-together event with industry professionals as well as volunteers and representatives from partnering non-governmental organisations and interest groups, Wong shared plans to consult residents more intensively by involving them during the design and planning stages instead of the final stages only as practiced today.

Typically, the town council or the government agency works with a consultant to plan the upgrading project. Thereafter, the proposed project will be exhibited for public viewing and feedback.

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The feedback would usually lead to some “minor fine-tuning” before the upgrading project is executed.

“The process is not bad, but certainly, it can be improved,” noted Wong, who also serves as the Second Finance Minister.

“We want to involve residents at the early stages of the project… This will take more time and effort, but I think it will be worthwhile. Residents will have a stronger stake in their estate, and they will have a greater sense of ownership over their common spaces.”

Meanwhile, the minister revealed that out of the 230,000 HDB flats built from 1987 to 1997, 55,000 will be among the first batch of flats to be upgraded under the second round of the Home Improvement Programme (HIP), which is set to start from next year onwards.

The remaining 175,000 flats will be scheduled “progressively” for HIP, depending on the budget allocated by the Ministry of Finance, which would in turn be influenced by the economy’s performance.

Wong is optimistic that the exercise will be completed by the government “over the next 10 or more years”.


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Victor Kang, Digital Content Specialist at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email


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