SOME 54,000 households in Hougang, Tampines and Pasir Ris can look forward to new amenities in their neighbourhoods with upgrading works now under way.
The improvements could include new covered linkways, car porches and upgrading of children's playgrounds.
Residents may also get upgrades to their flats, such as new waterproofing for their bathroom floors, and new windows and grilles.
No target completion date has been given for the works but the Government has set aside an extra $550 million for the three HDB towns under the Main Upgrading, Interim Upgrading and Lift Upgrading programmes.
As long as the Government had the financial resources, it would continue to rejuvenate housing estates, said Deputy Prime Minister and adviser to Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC grassroots organisation Teo Chee Hean yesterday. He was speaking at the launch of a community roadshow in Tampines Central to cap HDB's 50th anniversary celebrations.
Tampines, Hougang and Pasir Ris are mature towns that were developed in the 1980s and early 1990s. Together with the newer towns of Sengkang and Punggol, they are home to 197,100 flats, about 22 per cent of the total number of HDB homes in Singapore.
Some $540 million has already been spent to improve amenities for more than 67,000 households in the three towns.
Of the extra $550 million, around $263 million will go towards estates in Tampines; $180 million to Hougang and $107 million to Pasir Ris.
Mr Teo, noting how the three housing estates have transformed over the years into modern and bustling towns, said commercial and other social facilities will also be upgraded to keep up with renewed residential areas.
For example, six sites in Tampines and Hougang have benefited from HDB's Revitalisation of Shops Scheme (ROS) to increase the vibrancy and competitiveness of shops in the heartland.
Under the scheme, HDB provides partial funding for shopkeepers to spruce up their shopfronts and carry out promotions to attract more customers. The scheme will be extended to seven more sites in the two estates.
Loyang Point shopping centre in Pasir Ris will also be revamped at the end of the year.
Long-time residents welcomed the improvements to their neighbourhoods and shopping areas.
Mr Lee Kam Mun, who has lived in Tampines Central since 1998, said residents have got a lot out of the upgrading programmes.
Said the 42-year-old terminal manager in the oil and gas industry: 'We have a nicer outlook in the estate. You come back and feel relaxed. There are also more common areas that encourage us to meet and make friends with neighbours.'