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Lift Upgrading Programme is introduced Mar 2001

The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) was launched in 2001 to provide lift access on every floor of older Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats. Flats built before 1990 were not designed for lifts to stop at every floor. In view of Singapore’s fast greying population, the government embarked on the LUP to hasten the process of lift upgrading in order to improve accessibility and mobility for the elderly.[1]

Prior to the introduction of the LUP, there was no separate programme for lift upgrading as it was offered as part of the HDB’s Main and Interim Upgrading Programmes (MUP and LUP).[2] However, some members of parliament (MPs) were concerned that the implementation of direct lift access in older flats would be delayed because MUP and IUP were longer-term projects. As older flats tended to have more elderly residents, and lift upgrading was the most sought after improvement by HDB dwellers, these MPs urged the government to fast-track the upgrading of lifts by detaching it from the MUP and IUP.[3]

In response to the requests from the MPs and the recommendations by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Ageing Population to make homes and the environment more elder-friendly,[4] then Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan announced in parliament on 14 March 2001 that the government would be implementing a stand-alone lift upgrading programme. The government estimated that it would take 15 years and S$4.8 billion to retrofit 4,000 HDB flats with new lifts and shafts.[5] In 2005, the deadline for completion was reduced to 10 years.[6]

As the LUP exercise was very costly, residents had to poll and co-pay for the lift upgrading works, with the HDB subsidising the bulk of the cost. Upgrading would only take place if 75 percent of home owners agree to it.[7] In 2005, the Town Councils Act was amended to allow town councils to use their sinking funds to carry out their own lift upgrading in order to speed up the programme. Voting and co-payment from home owners were still required.[8] In the same year, the LUP was extended to low-rise four-and five-storey HDB flats which were previously excluded due to the high cost per unit.[9]

The high costs of the LUP and the technical constraints posed by some HDB blocks prompted the HDB to explore new technology and innovative engineering solutions. These include the use of new construction methods and lighter materials, the installation of machine-roomless lifts,[10] bubble (shaftless) lifts and smaller lifts, as well as reconfiguring the lift access with new entry points to residents’ homes. These new innovations had reduced the number of HDB flats ineligible for the LUP from 1,000 in 2005 to 200 by 2013.[11]

References
1. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (2001, March 14). Budget, Ministry of National Development. (Vol. 73, cols. 1026–1028). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN.
2. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (1997, July 11). Housing and Development Board (Upgrading programme for lifts in older estates). (Vol. 67, col. 466). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN; Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (1997, July 28). Budget, Ministry of National Development. (Vol. 67, cols. 1092–1094). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN; Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 14 Mar 2001, Budget, Ministry of National Development, Vol. 73, col. 1031.
3. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 11 Jul 1997, Housing and Development Board (Upgrading programme for lifts in older estates), Vol. 67, col. 466; Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 28 Jul 1997, Budget, Ministry of National Development, Vol. 67, cols. 1069–1073; Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (1998, March 17). Budget, Ministry of National Development. (Vol. 68, cols. 1526). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN; Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (2000, March 13). Budget, Ministry of National Development, Vol. 71, cols. 2052–2054. Call no. : RSING 328.5957 SIN; Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 14 Mar 2001, Budget, Ministry of National Development, Vol. 73, cols. 1007–1014; Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (2003, March 18). Budget, Ministry of National Development. (Vol. 76, cols. 1334). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN.
4. Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Ageing Population. (1999). Report on the ageing population (p. 27). Retrieved December 20, 2013, from Ministry of Social and Family Development website: http://app.msf.gov.sg/portals/0/summary/research/Materials_IMCReport.pdf
5. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 14 Mar 2001, Budget, Ministry of National Development, Vol. 73, cols. 1026–1028, 1031.
6. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (2005, January 19). Debate on President’s address. (Vol. 79, col. 394). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN.
7.
Parliamentary Debates: Official Report, 14 Mar 2001, Budget, Ministry of National Development, Vol. 73, cols. 1027–1028.
8. Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Acts Supplement (2005, August 19). Town Councils (Amendment) Act, 2005 (Act 23 of 2005, pp. 901–917). Singapore: Singapore National Printers. Call no.: RSING 348.5957 SGGAS; Republic of Singapore. Government Gazette. Subsidiary Legislation Supplement. (2005, August 19). Town Councils (Amendment) Act (Commencement) Notification 2005 (S541/2005, pp. 2458–2459). Call no.: RSING 348.5957 SGGSLS.
9. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (2005, March 7). Head T – Ministry of National Development. (Vol. 79, col. 1770). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN.
10. Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (2005, March 7). Head T – Ministry of National Development. (Vol. 79, cols.1764–1765 ). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN; Singapore. Parliament. Parliamentary Debates: Official Report. (2006, March 3). Head T – Ministry of National Development. (Vol. 81, cols. 961–962). Call no.: RSING 328.5957 SIN; Yin, J. (2006, February 24). Blocks get a lift from new technology. Today, p. 8. Retrieved from NewspaperSG.
11. Goh, C. L. (2009, November 1) Sorry, no lift for your floor. The Straits Times, p. 10. Retrieved from NewspaperSG; Khaw, B. W. (2013, March 28). $5 billion, 5,000 blocks, 500,000 families  - The LUP Story. Retrieved December 20, 2013, from Housing Matters website: http://mndsingapore.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/5-billion-5000-blocks-500000-families-the-lup-story/

 

The information in this article is valid as at 2014 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.

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