Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 11/15/2012 08:40 | By Channel NewsAsia

All public housing estates now have barrier—free accessibility.

All public housing estates now have barrier—free accessibility.


All public housing estates now have barrier—free accessibility.

SINGAPORE: Barrier—free accessibility is now available in all public housing estates, said Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan in a written response to a parliamentary question.

Mr Gan Thiam Poh, a member of parliament for Pasir Ris—Punggol GRC, had asked for an update on the barrier—free accessibility programme.

A total of 7,791 HDB blocks have benefited from the programme, which was completed in 2012.

The programme involved retrofitting existing estates with barrier—free features like ramps and railings, and levelling steps for enhanced accessibility, said Mr Khaw.

The Ministry of National Development added all new HDB estates will also be built with barrier—free access features.

Close to all public sector buildings highly frequented by the general public, like hospitals, polyclinics, markets and hawker centres, have also met the basic level of barrier—free accessibility.

This includes having ramps to the entrance of the facility, wheelchair accessible lifts and toilets at the ground level.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) Code on Accessibility specifies the minimum standards for barrier—free provision in the buildings as well as outside the buildings.

As for the private sector, the ministry said that private sector building owners can tap on BCA’s S$40 million Accessibility Fund to upgrade their buildings with accessibility features.

A total of 110 building projects have successfully applied for this fund.

This has led to key areas in Singapore such as Orchard Road achieving barrier—free accessibility, said the minister.

— CNA/jc

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