More budget, lower owner contribution to support HDB shop revitalisation efforts

There will be a bigger upgrading budget and shopowners will have to bear less of the cost to upgrade their shops as part of the enhanced Revitalisation of Shops (ROS) Scheme, the Housing and Development Board (HDB) said on Monday (May 9).

The ROS upgrading budget for each HDB shop will be increased by 75 per cent from S$20,000 to S$35,000 per shop, according to the press release.

To encourage more HDB shops to participate in the scheme, the shopowners’ share of the upgrading cost will be reduced from 50 per cent to 20 per cent, and capped as S$5,000. HDB and the town councils will co-fund the remaining 80 per cent, capped at S$30,000 per shop, it said, adding that they will continue to bear 100 per cent of the upgrading cost for rental shops.

Additionally, HDB will provide new funding of up to S$10,000 for Merchants Associations (MA) to appoint a consultant to help shopowners in their ROS upgrading, the press release said.

Should the HDB shops not have a MA, HDB has also introduced a new Start-up Fund of S$10,000 to encourage them to form one.

The new enhancements are applicable for batch 7 of ROS onwards, a HDB spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia.

The upgraded ROS package will cost about S$15 million yearly and was first revealed by Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat in his Budget 2016 statement.

Since the ROS scheme was introduced in November 2007, 4,684 shops from 54 HDB town or neighbourhood centres islandwide have benefitted, covering more than 50 per cent of such centres, the agency said.

Of these, 16 HDB town or neighbourhood centres have completed upgrading and another eight centres are at various stages of upgrading. In addition, more than 300 promotional events have been organised by the MAs under the scheme, it said.

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 9 May 2016

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