HDB studying solutions to bring direct lift access to more households

The Housing Development Board (HDB) is studying two possible solutions to bring direct lift access to more households. This was announced in a written reply by the Ministry of National Development (MND), in response to questions from MP for Hougang, Mr Png Eng Huat, on Tuesday (Oct 7).

Mr Png had asked for an update on the new technology and solutions in place to provide direct lift access to those not eligible for the Lift Upgrading Programming (LUP).

The lifts – a Vertical Platform Lift and a Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator – are currently being constructed and should be completed by year’s end. The Vertical Platform Lift uses a simple belt-driven system to move the platform vertically, while the Pneumatic Vacuum Elevator uses air suction to move the lift car up and down.

The speed of the two lifts is slower, but both are less costly to install compared to the current lift systems.

The MND said it plans to test two types of lifts at two non-residential sites – a multi-storey carpark and a commercial block – to see if they are technically feasible and acceptable to residents, especially the elderly and the disabled, before considering their suitability. Currently, some low-rise blocks and those with severe site constraints are ineligible for LUP. There are currently about 200 such blocks and they are mostly blocks with very few benefitting units to share the LUP cost.

Mr Png also asked if there would be an LUP Exercise specifically to provide direct lift access for these 200 flats.

“There will likely still be blocks which are unsuitable for the new lift solutions and cannot enjoy the direct lift access with current technology. HDB will continue to explore other measures to improve direct lift access for residents in these blocks,” said the MND in its reply, adding that those who require direct lift access due to medical conditions can approach HDB for assistance.

The Government launched the LUP in 2001 to provide direct lift access for residents in HDB blocks. Since then, it has benefited about 500,000 households from 5,000 blocks. The LUP, which is highly subsidised by the Government, cost a total of S$5 billion.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 7 Oct 2014