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Ask and you shall receive: More flats for elderly after positive response

Ask and you shall receive: More flats for elderly after positive response
Community care apartments are assisted living public housing that allows seniors aged 65 and above to age in place independently.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE — Around 200 community care apartments in Bedok will be offered in 2023 to seniors aged 65 and above to help them age in place independently, in the third such project of its kind.

On Thursday (March 2), National Development Minister Desmond Lee highlighted the positive response to the first two pilots of such assisted living flats in Bukit Batok and Queenstown, and how seniors requested that the Housing Board build more.

He said the Government is developing a pipeline of community care apartment projects in different locations across Singapore, and will give more details later in 2023.

Lee was responding to MPs including Henry Kwek (Kebun Baru), Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC) and Cheryl Chan (East Coast GRC), who had raised issues on housing for seniors during a debate on the Ministry of National Development's budget.

Elaborating on the upcoming Bedok flats, Minister of State for National Development Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim said residents will have convenient access to nearby amenities, such as active ageing centres, markets, fitness stations and community gardens.

HDB added in a factsheet that the apartments will be part of a development with other flat types.

Dr Faishal also said a scheme that lets singles share flats will be expanded to three sites — Bukit Panjang, Bidadari and Sengkang — offering spaces for about 600 tenants in total.


These should be open for application by the end of 2023, he said in addressing questions on housing options for singles from MPs such as Xie Yao Quan (Jurong GRC), Nadia Samdin (Ang Mo Kio GRC) and Gan Thiam Poh (Ang Mo Kio GRC).

In this Joint Singles Scheme Operator-Run model, which was introduced in December 2021, HDB appoints an operator to manage flat-sharing arrangements and provide social support to tenants.

The three current projects in Bukit Batok, Buangkok and Bedok are close to their full occupancy of about 400 tenants in total, said Dr Faishal, adding that the Government "will continue to learn from this pilot, and find more ways to improve the lives of singles in public rental".

As for assisted living options run by the private sector, Dr Faishal noted that the Urban Redevelopment Authority, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, launched a pilot private assisted living site in Parry Avenue for sale in 2022.

"The tender is closing later this month, and we look forward to receiving novel proposals," he said.

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This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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