• Published Date: 04 Aug 2021

    HDB's Reply


    Residents who refuse essential improvements will bear future repair costs
    Date: 4 Aug 2021


    We refer to Ms Anita Wong Moh Chun’s letter, “Can flat owners refuse essential improvements?” (July 23) .

    The Home Improvement Programme (HIP) offers residents essential and optional improvements to improve the internal living environment and address some of the common maintenance issues in older flats.

    Essential improvements, which are fully funded by the Government for Singapore citizen households, are necessary for public health, safety or technical reasons. They include the replacement of cast iron soil/waste pipes, spalling concrete repair, and replacement of existing pipe sockets with new clothes-drying racks.

    Optional improvements include toilet upgrading as well as the replacement of entrance door/gate and refuse hopper, where residents need pay only for the items they have chosen at a highly subsidised rate.

    As cast iron pipes can corrode over time, they are replaced with unplasticised polyvinyl chloride pipes under the HIP.

    Some residents may request not to replace the pipes, for example, if they have changed the cast iron pipes during their own renovation works.

    In such cases, we will carry out an inspection to check the condition of the pipes. If the pipes are in good condition, with no sign of dampness around the pipe of the lower-floor unit, we will accommodate the request.

    The residents will be required to sign an undertaking to replace the pipe themselves at their own cost if it leaks in future.

    In Ms Wong’s case, HDB has informed her that her upper floor neighbour will be replacing their cast iron pipes under the HIP.

    We encourage residents who are offered the HIP to take up the improvement items, to keep their homes in good shape.

    Residents can find out more about the HIP on our InfoWEB.

    Leow Beng Kiat
    Director (Upgrading Construction
    Housing and Development Board



    Letter to The Straits Times


    Can flat owners refuse essential improvements?
    Date: 23 July 2021

    From: Anita Wong Moh Chun


    I am a resident of Pandan Gardens, where the Home Improvement Programme is currently going on.

    The programme comprises essential improvements, optional improvements and improvements to the living conditions of seniors.

    The essential improvements include replacing cast iron waste/soil/vent pipes.

    However, I understand that some of my neighbours were given the option to keep their cast iron pipes, as long as they signed an undertaking that they would bear the cost of future repairs or replacement to such pipes.

    Can the Housing Board clarify whether homeowners have the right to refuse essential improvement works?

    And should an owner refuse to replace his cast iron pipes, will the neighbour who is living directly below that unit be made to bear part of the cost of any future repairs or replacement of the pipes if they were to leak or choke?

    Homeowners should not be penalised for a decision made by someone else.