Your page is loading.
One moment please.

15 Sep 2023

a block of HDB flats

Introduced in 2007 by the Housing & Development Board (HDB), the Home Improvement Programme is a government-funded initiative designed to address aging HDB flats, particularly those built between 1970 and 1986, by enhancing their structural integrity and providing essential upgrades to ensure residents’ safety and comfort. It has since been extended to include flats built up to 1997.


As a comprehensive and holistic programme, the Home Improvement Programme plays a vital role in revitalizing HDB estates, ensuring the longevity of buildings, and providing residents with a refreshed and modern living environment.


Here’s what you need to know:

Components of the Home Improvement Programme

The Home Improvement Programme (HIP) consists of three components:

1. Essential Improvements

Just as the name suggests, these are improvements that must be done for the sake of public health and safety, or for technical reasons. They include:

  • Repair spalling concrete/structural cracks
  • Replace waste/soil discharge stacks
  • Replace pipe sockets with new clothes drying rack
  • Upgrade electrical load (This will be carried out after the completion of HIP works, if necessary)

External retractable clothes drying rack and toilet upgrade

2. Optional Improvements

You have the flexibility to decide whether to go for all, some or none of the Optional Improvements. You'll only have to pay a heavily subsidised fee for the items you select. These options include:

  • Package to upgrade existing toilet(s)/bathroom(s)
  • New entrance door
  • New grille gate
  • New refuse chute hopper, where applicable

The Essential and Optional Improvements will improve conditions of the ageing flats and address common maintenance problems.

3. Enhancement for Active Seniors (EASE)

EASE Improvements are about enhancing home safety for seniors. With EASE Improvements, you can choose the following items based on your requirements:

  • Slip-resistant treatment to the floor tiles of 2 toilets/bathrooms
  • Installation of grab bars in 2 toilets/bathrooms
  • Installation of ramps within flat, and at main entrance, where technically feasible

Just like the Optional Improvements, you’ll only have to pay a heavily subsidised fee for the items you choose.


Find out more about the three components here.


Announced during the National Day Rally 2023, seniors will soon enjoy a broader selection of senior-friendly improvements for their HDB homes under the upgraded EASE 2.0 programme. These include wider toilet entrances for wheelchair users and foldable shower seats.


This is part of a continuous effort to boost seniors’ quality of life in their neighbourhoods. Additional measures include building more shelters and rest points, along with revamping streets and linkways frequently used by seniors to enhance safety.

How much do you need to pay for the Home Improvement Programme?

You will only pay the HIP upgrading costs after all the upgrading works are completed. It can be paid in one lump sum or through monthly instalments* over one to ten years. Payment can be made via cash or your CPF savings (for flat owners only), or a combination of both.


*Interest will be charged for payment by instalments. For Singaporean Citizen households, interest will be charged at HDB concessionary interest rate. For Singapore Permanent Resident households, interest will be charged at HDB market interest rate.

Singapore Citizen households

The Government covers the entire expense for Essential Improvements. As for Optional and EASE Improvements, you will only need to pay a small fraction of the cost, thanks to the Government subsidising most of the cost. These are the estimated costs payable and cost-sharing ratios:

Optional Improvements

Flat type

1/ 2/ 3- Room




Cost-sharing ratio





Your share (with FD)*





Your share (non-FD)*





Government’s share

95% ($10,450)

92.5% ($10,175)

90% ($9,900)

87.5% ($9,625)

*FD = Fire-rated main door


Flat type

1/ 2/ 3- Room




Cost-sharing ratio





Your share (depending on the package)

$125 to $192

$187.50 to $288

$250 to $384

$312.50 to $480

Government’s share





The Government subsidises up to 95% of the cost of EASE Improvements. This means that Singapore Citizens will only need to pay $125 to $480, depending on their flat type and chosen package (single-step ramp, portable ramp, or customised ramp).

The amounts above are estimated and subjected to the prevailing GST. The final amount will be determined only upon the completion of upgrading works.

Singapore Permanent Resident (PR) households

If you’re a PR, you will not be eligible for any subsidies. You will have to cover the full upgrading cost for the HIP, including Essential, as well as any Optional and EASE Improvements you choose.


However, if you (or any of your co-owners) become Singapore Citizens within one year from the date of billing, HDB will reimburse you the upgrading subsidy – provided if you are still the flat owner.

Financial assistance schemes

If you have trouble paying the monthly instalments of the upgrading cost, financial assistance is offered to eligible homeowners:

  • Flat owners whose gross monthly household income does not exceed $2,000 – you can reduce the monthly instalment repayment by extending the repayment period up to a maximum of 25 years.
  • Flat owners aged 55 and above – your upgrading cost payment can be deferred with interest until your flat is sold or transferred to another owner. However, you must first use your CPF savings (if any) above the CPF Retirement Sum to pay the upgrading cost before the remaining amount can be deferred with interest.
  • Flat owners who are in financial hardship – based on the merits of each case, HDB will consider allowing the deferment of payment for a year (subject to yearly review), or till the flat is sold or transferred to another owner.

You and your co-owners need to personally visit your flat’s managing HDB Branch to apply for assistance. Find out more here.

How can my flat qualify for the Home Improvement Programme?

Precincts will be shortlisted for the HIP, which will be followed by a vote among residents (Singaporean Citizens only) to decide whether the HIP moves forward. For it to proceed, at least 75% of eligible households must vote for it.


However, if you wish to enjoy the benefits of EASE improvements separate from the HIP, you can also make a direct application.

How long will the Home Improvement Programme take?

Completing the HIP for a regular group of flats (around 8 to 10 blocks) will take about 1.5 to 2 years. Upgrades for each flat will take 10 working days or less, depending on the improvements chosen.

upgrading of toilet

What happens during the Home Improvement Programme?

Before the upgrading works begin, use the plastic sheets provided to protect your furniture, electrical sockets, and other belongings from debris.


Make sure that you keep your valuables in a safe place, and it is advisable to arrange for an adult to be at home to keep an eye on the upgrading works.


To minimise inconveniences, here are some measures that HDB have put in place:

  • A portable toilet with a showerhead and tap (with hot water) will be installed in your flat
  • A common toilet will also be installed in your block’s void deck.
  • Air-conditioned rest and study rooms at the void deck.

With the continuous enhancement of the programme and its commitment to meeting homeowners' needs, HIP stands as a vital and impactful initiative in Singapore's public housing landscape.


Additionally, the expanded HDB HIP component ensures that all HDB flats will receive a second round of upgrading when they reach the 60- to 70-year mark. Through the extended support, HIP not only revitalizes living spaces but also enables residents to enjoy a conducive and upgraded living environment throughout their long-term residence in HDB estates.

The information provided in this article is accurate as of the date of publication.