The Home Improvement Program of Singapore

Parc Central Residences will share with you The Home Improvement Program of Singapore.

Singapore’s Housing and Development Board or HDB has a program called the Home Improvement Program. The purpose of this program is to remedy urban blight.

If you’ve gone to any major city in the United States, there are always parts of the town that look run-down. Just by walking through those parts and looking at the physical condition of those buildings, you can tell that their best days are way behind them.

These buildings look so bad that nobody would want to live in them. Not surprisingly, they become magnets for crime and decay. It is quite surprising that Singapore doesn’t suffer from the same problem.

People won’t be so surprised once they realize that the HDB has a home improvement program that encourages people to renovate old HDB supplied flats or public housing. They push people to refurbish their homes by providing a substantial subsidy to the homeowners.

The big challenge with public housing in other countries is that because people realize that they don’t own their home, or it’s a government-subsidized property, they lose all enthusiasm for maintaining it. After all, why would you when the responsibility to renovate does not rest on your shoulders? Leave it to the homeowners to have their place maintained.

They think that it’s just a box that they live in, and that’s pretty much the extent of their loyalty to their home. As you can well imagine, it starts to deteriorate. People start putting graffiti and failing to collect trash. It becomes a mess. This may be small examples of neglect, but they do build up over time. It’s the little things that matter, the day-to-day upkeep of your home, that will truly make a difference in the long run. Intensive cleaning may be required from time to time, but your ability to keep your living space clean and tidy every day is what will maintain it in excellent condition.

Singapore’s city planners understood what is going on with the rest of the world as far as urban decay is concerned. They understand that there are a lot of transient people in their country, from students who are staying only until they finish school, start-up business owners who are here as long as their businesses flourish, or expatriates who are sent to fulfill company objectives for a certain period. These people will not willingly shell out money to renovate their places of residence just because they are not owners of their homes.

Despite this reality, thanks to the HIP, urban blight is almost non-existent in Singapore.

You have to work hard and wake up early to find run-down HDB units which are eyesores. They are few and far between. A lot of this has to do with the renovation system and process. These are put into play by the HIP program of HDB.

Renovation takes place on two levels. First, the government focuses on essential works. The structural work is the main priority of this program. In other words, Singapore is going to invest in your home primarily to make sure that it doesn’t fall apart.

We’re talking about concrete facing, plumbing, pipe replacement, electrical work, and all sorts of crucial structural elements that make your home worthy of human habitation. A big part of this also involves cosmetic issues.

In other words, if you are going to be replacing the concrete facing or the facade of a building, you can bet that it’s going to have a tremendous impact as far as the public perception and appearance of that structure is concerned. As mentioned earlier, eyesores do exist in Singapore although there isn’t much. But these establishments can cause land and property values to depreciate that’s why HDB is working hard to eradicate them. Therefore, the façade of properties, not just the structure, needs to be remodeled and all aesthetic issues dealt with.

The aesthetics and structures tend to go hand in hand. Believe it or not, above and beyond this, the HIP program also pays for free renovation.

For example, if you want a better bathroom or better fixtures or even an improved toilet, you need to talk to the HDB. They might be able to facilitate a low-cost loan where the government subsidizes residents upgrading their unit.

Renovation can be quite dramatic in terms of cosmetic appearance. We’re talking about new waste hoppers, metal gates, new doors, as well as bathrooms.

While the homeowner is supposed to pay some money for this, you can bet that the vast majority of the tab will be picked up by the city-state of Singapore. The only drawback to this is that only Singapore citizens can qualify for the HIP program.

If you are a permanent resident, you cannot qualify for this. You have to be an actual Singapore citizen, and this is going to be an issue.

A lot of foreigners who have lived there for many years managed to become permanent residents. Still, very few became full Singapore citizens. It’s not easy.

These are two different classifications. Keep this in mind. To work around this, it’s a good idea to rent from somebody who is a Singapore citizen because they can take advantage of this program to build up the unit that they’re going to rent to you.

This way, you get the best of both worlds. You don’t have to hassle to be a permanent resident or even harder, a Singapore citizen, while at the same time benefiting from the express aims and mission of the HIP program.

The person that you’re renting from obviously benefits because when you’re renting from them, you are liquidating their costs for keeping up their property, while at the same time putting extra money in their pocket. It’s a win-win situation.

Stay tuned for Parc Central Residences. Interested buyers can now look at the CPF Housing Grants for EC /EC Eligibilities and book appointment to view the Parc Central Residences Price which will be announced in H2 2020. Meanwhile, you can check out more information at CPF website if you plan to use CPF for down payment  or installment.

 


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