Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Share details of lift upgrading costs with residents

THE estate I live in has been selected for the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP). Though I am not required to vote and share the LUP cost as I am residing on a lift-landing floor, I laud the programme for the greater convenience it affords the residents, especially the elderly.

HDB has also thoughtfully introduced affordable payment schemes for those residents who have financial difficulties.

LUP is a cost-sharing programme with the Government and town councils subsidising a substantial part of the total upgrading cost. Residents benefiting from it may be paying only a small fraction of the cost, subject to a cap of $3,000 for Singapore citizen households. HDB should reveal more details on lift construction costs to the residents so they understand what they are paying for.

Take a three-room flat in a standard block for example. The information contained in the provided brochure indicated that the Government pays $19,800 or 90 per cent, the town council pays $1,100 or 5 per cent, and each household pays $1,100 or 5 per cent.

Do all these estimated amounts mean each household would have had to pay an estimated $22,000 without subsidies?

But with subsidies, each would pay only $1,100?

If 32 households benefit in one three-room standard block, based on $22,000 (without subsidy) per household, does this mean the estimated cost of adding one new lift to one such block is about $704,000?

I believe HDB would have the lift-construction costs prior to dividing the estimated shared amounts payable by the three parties, but there is no information regarding this in the brochure.

HDB should provide in the brochure the estimated total construction cost of adding one new lift to the block slated for upgrading so that the residents can understand even better and vote confidently for the LUP without any doubt.

Source: Straits Times, 2 Jun 2010

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