Govt to continue with upgrading projects for HDB estates: PM Lee

The Housing & Development Board (HDB) marked the end of the Main Upgrading Programme (MUP) for first-generation public housing estates on Saturday after 22 years.

Speaking at the completion ceremony of the final precinct at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 10, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said it is not the end of the road for government upgrading of public housing.

It is now replaced by newer schemes, including the Home Improvement Programme (HIP), and Neighbourhood Renewal Programme (NRP), where enhancements are more targeted and owners have more choice.

MUP was introduced in 1990 to enhance public housing living.

Mr Lee said it has benefited more than 130,000 households in more than 120 precincts at a cost of S$37 million.

But for the government to continue to do this, Singapore must continue to get her fundamentals right.

Mr Lee said Singapore must continue to have a vibrant economy, peace and stability as well as a good government. He also urged Singaporeans to continue supporting one another in the community.

As the country’s population ages rapidly, Mr Lee also called on Singaporeans to have a positive mindset toward elders.

Mr Lee said this earlier on Saturday at a welcome party for Teck Ghee Vista – new replacement flats built under the Selective En Bloc Redevelopment Scheme (SERS).

In his address, Mr Lee highlighted the importance of recognising the contributions of the nation’s seniors.

He said it is only right for the society to support them in their silver years. On that note, Mr Lee encouraged residents to show support when the government starts to build studio apartments, nursing homes and day care centres in the different estates.

Driving home the importance of this, he said Singaporeans should treat the elderly the way they wish to be treated when they get old.

On the part of the government, he said it has implemented financial assistance schemes, including the Enhancement for Active Seniors and Silver Housing Bonus, announced during Budget 2012.

Citing Teck Ghee Vista as an example of elderly-friendly living, Mr Lee said that besides facilities, it is also necessary to attract younger families to mature estates. And this is achieved through SERS.

Heartened by the manner in which the young and old manage to bond in Teck Ghee Vista, Mr Lee pointed out that this is the way it should be in all new towns.

He added that Teck Ghee Vista is a model of how the government had rejuvenated Ang Mo Kio.

The government started redeveloping the precinct sixteen years ago to make better use of the land and did so in three phases, from June 1996 to May 2011.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 21 Apr 2012

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