SINGAPORE – More building owners can tap funds to encourage them to upgrade their facilities to make them more friendly for people with disabilities, families with young children and older people.
Eligibility criteria for the existing Accessibility Fund (AF) will be widened so that buildings that already have basic accessibility features can also access it, the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) said on Monday August 1.
Applications will be accepted until March 31, 2027.
These measures are intended to incentivize owners of pre-1990 buildings to carry out basic accessibility upgrades, as well as to encourage those who already have basic functionality to voluntarily upgrade to basic accessibility features. more universal designs, BCA said.
They are also meant to complement the vision of a more inclusive Singapore that will be mapped out in the Enabling Masterplan 2030, a roadmap for disability inclusion here due to be unveiled later this year.
The $40 million AF was rolled out in 2007 and still has about $20 million left.
In June this year, more than 150 private building owners tapped into the fund to retrofit their buildings with accessibility features, BCA said.
The AF co-finances up to 80% of the construction costs of basic accessibility elements such as ramps or lifts to allow entry into the building and at the entrance level, accessible toilets and safety signs. signage to indicate accessibility features.
It co-finances up to 60% of the construction costs of universal design elements such as additional grab bars to assist the elderly, child-friendly sanitary facilities, lactation rooms, changing stations and for people with visual or hearing impairments. , such as hearing enhancement systems or Braille or tactile functions.
Upgrading accessibility for pre-1990 buildings that do not undergo addition and alternation work is currently done on a voluntary basis, as the Barrier-Free Accessibility Code in Buildings does not have was introduced only in 1990 and cannot be applied retrospectively.
BCA also announced an interim payment option for projects with a minimum value of $200,000 and involving elevator installation work.
This one-time interim payment can be claimed at any time during the project, which will help building owners meet cash flow challenges for more expensive accessibility improvement works, the authority said.