MP Leon Perera

Mr Leon Perera asked the Minister for National Development what recourse is available to HDB flat lessees to obtain compensation when they have been inappropriately pressured by or were given misrepresentations by Home Improvement Programme (HIP) contractors to opt in for HIP works.

Mr Desmond Lee: The Home Improvement Programme (HIP) helps flat owners address common maintenance problems related to ageing flats. If 75% or more of the eligible households in the block votes for HIP, HDB will carry out compulsory essential improvement works that are considered necessary for public health and safety. This includes works such as the repair of spalling concrete. For Singapore Citizen households, these essential improvement works are fully paid for by the Government. 

Aside from essential improvement works, flat owners can also opt for optional improvement works, such as toilet upgrading and new entrance doors and grille gates. These works are heavily subsidised if residents opt for them. 

However, if residents decide not to opt for toilet upgrading works, a water test needs to be conducted to check for existing or potential leaks to the lower floor unit. Flat owners can only opt out if their toilets pass the test, or if there is no existing leak at the lower floor. The toilet upgrading package includes waterproofing works to address the ceiling leakage, tiling of floors and walls, and provision of new pedestal pan, wash basin, door and vent. Three packages of different tile designs are available for residents to choose from. As long as the waterproofing works are carried out, flat owners may also choose to use their own fittings and fixtures, but these will have to be at their own cost.

With the exception of toilet upgrading works which are required if potential or existing ceiling leaks are detected, residents are free to choose whether they want to take up the optional improvement items under HIP. HDB contractors are not allowed to influence residents or pressure them to opt for such works. If residents feel that they have been inappropriately pressured, or subject to misrepresentations, they may approach HDB, who will investigate and take appropriate action.

Ministry of National Development
1 August 2022

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