More buildings now made elder-friendly

More buildings now made elder-friendly

SINGAPORE - A rising number of old-building owners are tapping into a Government fund which subsidises upgrading work to make them more accessible to less mobile visitors.

Launched six years ago, the $40 million Accessibility Fund of the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) initially had a slow take-up with only $2.2 million disbursed by 2010.

Some $8.5 million has now been given out, with another $2.5 million still pending.

The 115 buildings which have been approved for funding as of July are commercial developments, hotels, condominiums and religious buildings.

Recent beneficiaries include the Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution, Orchard Parade Hotel and York Hotel.

The Straits Times understands that even Liat Towers will be undergoing renovations that will include handicapped access, though details are yet to be confirmed. Built before 1990, the Orchard Road mall can currently be entered only via steps.

Building managers said that using the fund to upgrade their facilities to serve the less mobile is in their interests.

Available to any private building except landed residential properties, the fund co-pays up to 80 per cent of basic upgrading construction costs, capped at $300,000 per development.

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