Singapore builds “barrier-free” buildings for disabled people

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) aims to have 70 percent of commercial and institutional buildings in Singapore barrier-free for old people and those with disabilities by 2030.

It is estimated that one in four Singaporeans will be aged above 65 by 2030. (Source: Bloomberg)

Buildings such as schools, offices, shopping centres, markets, and food centres will have to make entrance accessible to wheelchair users and be equipped with Braille signage for the visually-impaired and at least one toilet specilised for the disabled.

To realise the target, CEO of the BCA John Keung said his agency will set new rules for owners of commercial and institutional buildings from next year.

The authority plans to extend the Accessibility Fund worth 40 million SGD (over 30 million USD) to March 2022 to encourage building owners to have proper upgrading plans in line with the new regulations.

The highest level of support for a building owner is 300,000 SGD (over 222,000 USD).

Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong said the new rules are to support old people and persons with disabilities in accessing social services.

He noted that Singapore is facing aging population and it is estimated that one in four Singaporeans will be aged above 65 by 2030.

Meanwhile, most of the buildings constructed before 1990 in the country have yet been equipped well to support the elderly and handicapped, he said.

VNS

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