As our homes age over the years, it is natural for wear-and-tear to take place. As part of HDB’s efforts to resolve common maintenance problems, the HDB Home Improvement Programme (HIP) for HDB flats was introduced in 2007, to help keep flats in good condition.

Since then, about 320,000 HDB homes built up to 1986 have benefitted from the highly-subsidised programme. In 2018, the HIP was extended to flats built between 1987 and 1997. With this, another 230,000 HDB homes are set to benefit from the improvements.

Upgrading helps keep the flat in good condition, providing residents with a quality home for life

How HIP Works

Once the blocks have been identified for HDB HIP, a poll will be held among residents. Upgrading works for a particular block will only proceed if at least 75% of residents vote for it.

HIP Components

Under the HDB HIP, various improvements are carried out within the flat to enhance your safety and comfort. The HDB HIP for HDB flats comprises 3 main components – Essential improvements, Optional improvements, and Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE) improvements.

1. Essential Improvements

Essential improvements are compulsory upgrading efforts carried out for public health and safety, and are fully-subsidised for Singapore Citizen home owners. The works include:

  • Repair of spalling concrete and structural cracks
  • Replacement of waste/ soil pipes
  • Replacement of pipe sockets with new clothes drying rack
  • Upgrading of electrical load

2. Optional Improvements

You can look forward to improvements for your home such as bathroom upgrading

Like its name suggests, optional improvements under HDB HIP are not compulsory. You can choose to do some, all, or none of the Optional Improvements. You only need to pay for the items you choose, and at a highly subsidised rate. You can opt for these improvements during the polling period.

The list of Optional Improvements include:

  • Toilet/ bathroom upgrading (wall/ floor tiles and sanitary fittings)
  • New fire-rated main door or non-fire-rated main door
  • New metal grille gate
  • New refuse chute hopper, where applicable

3. EASE

The HDB EASE programme was launched in 2012, to help seniors living in HDB flats age safely and comfortably. The elderly-friendly fittings include slip-resistant treatment for bathroom tiles and installation of grab bars. Eligible households can also install customised/ portable ramps within the flat and at the entrance, to allow for better home navigation.

EASE improvements such as grab bars and ramps help seniors move around their homes safely and easily

The EASE programme has been expanded to include customised ramps for flats with more than 3 steps at the entrance and a wheelchair lifter for flats where ramps cannot be installed due to site constraints.

Like optional improvements, you are free to choose any of the EASE improvement items and pay only for the items you choose. You can opt for the HDB EASE items during the polling period.

Here’s a summary of the components of HDB HIP:

Essential improvements   Repair of spalling concrete and structural cracks
Replacement of waste/ soil pipes
Replacement of pipe sockets with new external retractable clothes drying rack
Upgrading of electrical load 
Optional improvements Toilet/ bathroom upgrades comprising new water proofing membrane, wash basin, floor and wall tiles, louvred vent, toilet door, grab bar and pedestal pan
New fire-rated main door or non-fire-rated main door
New metal grille gate
New refuse chute hopper, where applicable  
EASE improvements Slip-resistant treatment for bathroom tiles
Grab bars
Single-step ramp for a single-step entrance; or portable/ customised ramp for a multi-step entrance
Wheelchair lifter

Upgrading Costs

For Singapore Citizen households, all Essential improvements are fully funded by the Government. For Optional improvements, you pay only a fraction of the cost, as the Government subsidises up to 95% to ensure they are affordable for residents. You can pay in cash or with your CPF savings.

The tables below give an idea of how much you can expect to pay if you take all the Optional and EASE improvement items.

Optional Improvements

Flat Type1/ 2/ 3-Room4-Room5-RoomExecutive
You Pay$550 (5%)$825 (7.5%)$1,100 (10%)$1,375 (12.5%)
 Government Pays95%92.5%90%87.5%

EASE

Flat Type3-Room4-Room5-RoomExecutive
You Pay (cost dependable on ramp solution)$125-387 (5%)$187.50-$580.50 (7.5%)$250-$774(10%)$312.50-$967.50 (12.5%)
Government Pays  95%92.5%90%87.5%

Want to know if your block will be undergoing HIP? You can check which upgrading programmes have been announced for your block, here.

Note: The information in this article has been updated on 4 April 2023.

  • Farihin Khairunan

    Writer who believes that the simplest words make the greatest impact. Spends all her money on pretty notebooks that she will most probably never use.

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