Strengthening greater neighbourliness

SINGAPORE: Those living in Housing and Development Board (HDB) units in the Republic can look forward to installing public art around the estates or converting void decks into a living room for the neighbourhood.

The two other town plazas at Punggol and Yishun are estimated to be completed in the second half of 2016 and in 2018, respectively. Teams of community partners will also be set up at the new plazas. This will benefit nearby executive condo residents such as those from The Terrace EC, Treasure Crest ECWaterwoods EC, The Amore EC, The Vales EC and Bellewaters EC.

In a community initiative by the HDB, residents on Friday (May 20) can apply to start such large-scale projects for the community under the new “HDB Friendly Faces Lively Places Fund”. In total, approximately S$500,000 will be set aside over the next five years.

Each project can apply for funding of up to S$10,000 from the HDB. It must involve members of the community, and the community must also come up with 30 per cent of the amount of funding it applied for. The fund is an expansion of HDB’s Good Neighbours Project initiative, where funding is capped at S$1,000.

The announcement of the new fund took place at the launch of the Bedok Town Plaza, which also kicked off HDB’s annual Community Week on Friday.

“The key criteria are that projects must bring diverse groups of people together, have active participation and contribution from the community. Through this project, we want to strengthen greater neighbourliness and stronger bonds,” said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong at the event.

Bedok Town Plaza is the first of three HDB town plazas to be completed under the Remaking Our Heartland initiative. The plazas are built primarily for community uses and will prioritise community activities ahead of commercial use, HDB said.

To that end, the HDB has formed a team that includes partners from People’s Association and grassroots leaders to look into activities that could be held to bring residents together. This is the first time such a team has been set up for a town plaza.

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