Elevate Your Living with HDB Flat Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) | Direct Lift Access | Straits Times

by | Oct 18, 2023

What is the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP)? 

What is the Lift Upgrading Programme LUP

The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) is an initiative by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) in Singapore to improve the accessibility and convenience of lifts in older HDB housing estates.

The program aims to provide direct lift access to all floors of residential blocks, benefiting residents, particularly the elderly and those with mobility issues.

Overview of the LUP

The LUP involves the installation of new lifts or the retrofitting of existing lifts in HDB blocks.

This elevator upgrade program is designed to enhance the vertical transportation system in housing estates, ensuring that residents have easy and convenient access to their homes.

By improving the lift access, the LUP aims to enhance the overall living experience and quality of life for residents.

The program is implemented in batches, with HDB selecting specific blocks for upgrading based on various criteria such as the age of the blocks and the demand for lift access.

The LUP also takes into consideration the feedback and preferences of the residents.

The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in Singapore is an initiative aimed at improving the quality of life for elderly residents and citizen households in the country.

The LUP focuses on the method of maintenance in housing blocks, particularly the closing of elevator doors and the addition of extra elevators to improve accessibility.

The usage, control, and maintenance of elevators are regulated, and several elevator manufacturers are involved in the upgrading process.

The upgrading of elevators includes the installation of lift columns, lift landings, and the involvement of lift maintenance companies.

The LUP also addresses the need for more efficient elevator systems, such as room-less lifts and the testing of lifts for safety standards.

As many housing blocks have narrow and common corridors, the placement of elevators against outward-facing walls is adopted to maximize space.

In high-rise commercial and industrial buildings, elevators are a vital component due to the limited land available in this island country.

To reduce noise pollution, measures are taken to minimize motor noise and ensure smoother elevator rides.

Safety is prioritized through the installation of motion safety sensors and the implementation of telephone services in case of emergencies.

The ground floor of apartment buildings is given special attention, ensuring easy access to flats for residents.

The LUP is a continuous program that includes the upgrading of existing elevators to more sophisticated types.

Breakdown elevators are also replaced to ensure smooth operations.

The capacity of elevators is constantly monitored, with China-made Brilliant (BLT) elevators being subjected to thorough checking, including the installation of detectors.

Elevator performance is closely evaluated, and an elevator rescue team is in place to handle any emergencies that may arise in elevator shafts.

Singapore is known for having some of the fastest elevator installations, with companies like Fujitec involved in major projects.

The majority of elevators in the country are supplied by the Sigma Elevator Company.

Testing of elevators is a rigorous process, and the safety and efficiency of each elevator batch, such as the ULift and Lift C, are closely monitored.

In recent years, notable upgrades in the LUP include the installation of precast lift shafts and steel lift shafts in buildings like Block 4 and 40-storey HDB blocks respectively.

Wheelchair car operation panels and essential maintenance service units have also been included in the LUP.

Floor indicators and additional car operating panels have been added to improve user experience.

The LUP has not only improved the daily struggles and day-to-day life of Singaporean residents but has also received recognition from notable figures such as Desmond Lee and Lawrence Wong.

The program continues to evolve with innovative technologies such as micro-piling, microprocessor control, and moving walks being considered for future upgrades.

The LUP has played a vital role in enhancing the safety, accessibility, and convenience of elevators in high-rise apartments and other buildings across Singapore, benefiting the vast majority of residents and ensuring that the country’s elevator systems remain at a high standard.

Benefits of the LUP for Residents

The LUP brings several benefits to HDB flat owners and residents.

One of the key benefits is the provision of direct lift access to every floor of the upgraded blocks.

This eliminates the need for residents to take stairs or detours to reach their units, providing convenience for residents, especially those with disabilities or limited mobility.

Another benefit is the Lift Access Housing Grant (LAHG), which is made available to eligible households.

The grant helps to offset the cost of installing a lift in older flats and promotes accessibility for residents who might otherwise face challenges in using stairs.

The LUP also enhances the overall value of HDB flats.

The improved lift access adds to the desirability and attractiveness of the housing estate, making it more appealing to potential buyers or tenants.

Eligibility for the LUP

To be eligible for the LUP, the HDB blocks must have been built before 1990 and meet certain criteria set by HDB.

The specific floors eligible for upgrading will vary depending on the estate and block, but generally, it includes the lowest accessible floor and every fourth floor above it.

Blocks that have already undergone previous upgrading programs may not be included in the LUP.

The eligibility also extends to non-citizen residents, as the program aims to improve the accessibility and convenience for all residents in HDB estates.

Additionally, the LUP targets households with mobility issues, providing them with much-needed support and ease of movement.


In conclusion, the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in Singapore is a significant effort by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) to improve the accessibility and convenience of lifts in older HDB housing estates.

By providing direct lift access to all floors, the LUP benefits residents, particularly the elderly and those with mobility issues, and enhances the overall living experience in these housing estates.

Key Takeaways

  1. What is LUP?
    • The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) aims to improve lift access in older HDB estates, benefitting residents, especially the elderly and those with mobility issues.
  2. Overview of LUP
    • LUP installs or retrofits lifts to enhance vertical transportation, improving living experience for residents.
  3. Benefits for Residents
    • LUP provides direct lift access, Lift Access Housing Grant (LAHG), and enhances HDB flat values.
  4. Eligibility for LUP
    • Blocks built before 1990 and meeting specific criteria can be considered for LUP, including non-citizens and residents with mobility issues.
  5. LUP Process
    • LUP includes elevator specification, construction, and cost-sharing among HDB, government, and residents.
  6. LUP Costs
    • Costs are shared on a per household basis with subsidies for eligible households, reducing the financial burden.
  7. LUP Timeline
    • The program is monitored for timely completion, considering resources and minimizing disruption to residents.
  8. Types of LUP Works
    • LUP includes Lift Replacement, Lift Modernization, and Lift Accessibility Improvements for safer, more efficient lifts.
  9. History of LUP
    • LUP was introduced in 2001 to address inadequate lift provision in older estates, improving accessibility and quality of life.
  10. Future of LUP
    • The LUP continues to enhance accessibility, safety, and aesthetics for HDB blocks, promising a better living experience for residents.

How Does the LUP Work? 

How Does the LUP Work

The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) was introduced in Singapore to improve the accessibility and convenience of older Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats.

It aims to address the challenges faced by residents living in these flats without lift access, especially the elderly and residents with mobility issues.

LUP Process

The LUP process involves several important aspects.

First, elevator specifications are determined based on the block’s structural suitability.

The upgrading works would then begin, which includes exploring new lift shaft locations, as well as constructing new lifts and lift lobbies.

These efforts are customized to suit the unique layout and design of each block.

Older HDB flats are typically considered for LUP based on eligibility criteria, such as the age of the block.

Residents in these blocks are allowed to vote on whether they want to proceed with the LUP installation.

Costs of the upgrading are shared among the HDB, the Government, and residents.

LUP Costs

Lack of lift access can pose a significant inconvenience and challenge, particularly for residents living on higher floors or those with mobility issues.

The LUP addresses this by providing new lift shafts and lifts, enabling residents to enjoy improved accessibility within their blocks.

The costs of the LUP are shared on a per-household basis, with HDB subsidies available for eligible households.

The construction costs of installing new lifts and lift shafts can be substantial, but with government support, the burden on residents is significantly reduced.

LUP Timeline

The LUP is a long-term program that focuses on upgrading and improving housing estates throughout Singapore.

The progress of each project is closely monitored by the system, utilizing advanced technology to monitor the status of the works and ensure their timely completion.

The scheduling of housing upgrades is carefully planned to ensure technical viability and minimize disruption to residents’ daily lives.

The program takes into consideration factors such as the availability of resources, manpower, and coordination with other ongoing estate improvement projects.


In summary, the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in Singapore is an essential initiative aimed at improving the accessibility and convenience of older HDB flats.

By providing new lift shafts and lifts, the LUP enhances the quality of life for residents, particularly the elderly and those with mobility issues.

With careful planning and government support, the LUP helps to make housing estates more inclusive and comfortable for all residents.

Types of Lift Upgrading Works

Types of Lift Upgrading Works

Lift Replacement

In Singapore, the Lift Replacement program focuses on replacing older elevators in housing developments built before 1990.

These older elevators often have outdated technology and may not meet current safety standards.

The Selective Lift Replacement Programme (SLRP) is another initiative aimed at replacing lifts that have been in service for more than 26 years.

The SLRP targets lifts in older HDB estates and ensures that modern lifts are installed to provide a more efficient and reliable transport system for residents.

There are different types of lifts available for replacement, such as hydraulic lifts and traction lifts, each with its specifications and advantages.

Lift Modernization

To improve the standard of living for residents, lift modernization works focus on making existing lifts safer, more energy-efficient, and user-friendly.

Upgrades may include replacing outdated control systems, upgrading elevator doors, or installing new motors.

These enhancements not only improve the overall performance of the lifts but also add an extra layer of precaution to ensure passenger safety.

It is important to note that during these works, contractors adhere to strict guidelines to protect residents’ privacy and avoid sharing sensitive information.

Lift Accessibility Improvements

To cater to the needs of residents with mobility challenges, lift accessibility improvements are an essential aspect of the Lift Upgrading Programme.

This involves installing emergency standby equipment, such as backup power systems, to ensure uninterrupted elevator service.

Additionally, efforts are made to provide better elevator access for residents with mobility reasons, allowing direct lift access to their floors.

These improvements greatly enhance the convenience and quality of life for residents.

The program also offers a co-pay scheme, where residents contribute a portion of the remaining upgrading cost.

Overall, the Lift Upgrading Programme in Singapore offers a wide range of improvements to enhance the functionality, safety, and accessibility of lifts in residential developments.

By replacing outdated lifts, upgrading existing systems, and improving accessibility, the program aims to provide residents with a more efficient and enjoyable living experience.

These initiatives reflect Singapore’s commitment to creating a sustainable and inclusive environment for all residents.

LUP in Singapore

LUP in Singapore

History of the LUP in Singapore

The Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in Singapore traces its roots back to the establishment of the Housing and Development Board (HDB) in 1960.

As the nation embarked on its journey towards developing high-rise public housing estates, the need for lift access in these buildings quickly became apparent.

The LUP was introduced in 2001 by the HDB and the Ministry of National Development to address the issue of inadequate lift provision in older housing estates.

The program aims to improve vertical transportation by adding more lifts, enhancing lift infrastructure, and providing greater accessibility for residents.

LUP has been implemented across various housing estates in Singapore, including the iconic Toa Payoh estate, contributing to enhanced accessibility and improved quality of life for residents.

Current Status of the LUP in Singapore

The current status of the Lease Buyback Scheme (LUP) in Singapore shows significant progress in modernizing the older housing estates.

With a focus on the Housing and Development Board (HDB) flats built before 1990, the LUP aims to enhance the living conditions and quality of life for residents.

The LUP offers elderly homeowners the opportunity to monetize their flats while still being able to live in them.

To improve accessibility and safety, infra-red doors have been installed in some flats, ensuring ease of use for older residents.

Additionally, estate management has been enhanced to ensure the smooth implementation of the LUP, allowing residents to live comfortably in these high-rise public housing estates.

Future of the LUP in Singapore

The future of the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in Singapore holds great promise for enhancing the quality of life for residents.

The LUP aims to bring improved accessibility and functionality to HDB blocks, ensuring that residents of all ages and abilities can navigate their surroundings with ease.

With 150 blocks still awaiting LUP completion, the Housing and Development Board remains dedicated to ensuring swift and efficient upgrades to these remaining estates.

As part of the LUP, vision panels will be installed to enhance safety and security in elevators, providing residents with a clear view of the cabins.

Additionally, efforts will be made to mitigate elevator damage through the implementation of modern lift systems, thereby reducing inconvenience to residents.

Furthermore, aesthetic upgrades will be made to enhance the overall appearance of the upgraded blocks, creating a pleasant living environment for all.

With such initiatives, the future of the LUP in Singapore looks promising, with a focus on elevating not only physical infrastructure but also the overall well-being of its residents.


Remaining LUP Blocks: 150


  • Installation of vision panels in elevators
  • Implementation of modern lift systems to prevent damage
  • Aesthetic upgrades to improve the overall appearance of blocks

Tips for Residents During the LUP

Tips for Residents During the LUP

Plan for Disruptions

During the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in Singapore, residents may experience some disruptions in their daily lives.

Residents need to plan to minimize the inconveniences.

The Housing and Development Board (HDB) will provide information on their official secure websites regarding the LUP schedule for each block and the estimated duration of the works.

Residents should regularly check these websites for updates.

Residents should also be mindful of their privacy during the LUP.

As the lifts are being upgraded, residents living on lower floors may have their privacy compromised by the workers on the lift.

To mitigate this, residents can consider installing curtains or blinds on their windows facing the lift block.

Additionally, residents should meet their neighbors and form a block committee.

This committee can help in coordinating efforts and addressing any concerns during the LUP.

It can also serve as a support system for residents who may face difficulties during the upgrading process.

Be Aware of the Safety Precautions

Safety is of utmost importance during the LUP.

If residents notice any safety issues or have concerns about the work being carried out, they should promptly report them to the HDB.

The HDB has a dedicated hotline and online platform for residents to make complaints or provide feedback.

Besides detecting problems, residents should also be aware of the safety precautions implemented during the LUP.

Each block will have a safety committee responsible for overseeing the works and ensuring the safety of residents.

Residents should follow their instructions and cooperate with the workers to ensure a smooth and safe LUP process.

As part of the safety measures, new safety devices will be installed in the upgraded lifts.

Residents should familiarize themselves with these new features and understand how to use them properly.

This will help to enhance the overall safety of the upgraded lifts.

Provide Feedback to the HDB

Residents’ feedback is crucial for the HDB to improve the LUP process.

If residents encounter any issues or have suggestions for improvement, they should not hesitate to provide feedback to the HDB.

The HDB values residents’ opinions and will consider them when planning future LUP projects.

Residents can provide feedback through various channels.

They can contact the HDB directly through their hotline or submit feedback online.

They can also reach out to government agencies or write to local newspapers like The Straits Times to voice their concerns or share their experiences.

In addition, residents can provide feedback to the lift installation companies or elevator maintenance companies involved in the LUP.

These companies play a crucial role in ensuring the quality of the work and addressing any technical issues.

Communicating with them directly can help resolve any concerns or dissatisfaction.

In conclusion, residents can make the LUP process smoother and more manageable by planning, being aware of safety precautions, and providing feedback to the relevant authorities.

By working together, residents and the HDB can ensure that the LUP benefits all residents and improves their living conditions.


Lift Upgrading Programme Singapore Conclusion

After an in-depth analysis of the Lift Upgrading Programme (LUP) in Singapore, it is evident that this initiative has had a significant impact on the lives of residents in older HDB estates.

The introduction of direct lift access to each floor in selected blocks has not only improved convenience but also increased the value of these flats.

One of the main reasons the LUP was introduced was to address the issue of aging lifts in older HDB estates.

Through a poll conducted by the Ministry for National Development, it was found that the majority of residents in these estates supported the upgrading initiative.

This demonstrates the importance of the program in meeting the needs and desires of the residents.

The cost involved in the upgrading process, however, made it necessary to implement the LUP on a ballot basis, ensuring that at least one Singapore citizen flat owner would have to vote in favor of the upgrading.

This ensured that the decision was fair and democratic.

The introduction of the Town Management System (TMS) has been crucial in ensuring better lift performance.

With real-time monitoring and centralized management, maintenance companies are automatically notified of any problems in lifts.

This has led to faster response times in addressing breakdowns and reducing the likelihood of passengers being trapped.

Furthermore, the TMS has allowed town councils to make informed decisions about lift maintenance and improvement plans.

Historical data collected through the TMS has provided valuable insights into the performance of lifts, enabling proactive measures to be taken to prevent potential issues.

The TMS also can carry out remote testing and monitor the performance of new modern elevators.

This not only ensures their optimal functioning but also serves as an added precaution to meet the safety and privacy concerns of residents.

Since its launch in 2001, the LUP has upgraded lifts in approximately 700 blocks, with around 150 blocks remaining for further development.

The success of the program has demonstrated the effectiveness of the methods used to bring about these improvements.

In conclusion, the Lift Upgrading Programme in Singapore has been instrumental in enhancing the quality of life for residents in older HDB estates.

The upgraded lifts not only provide direct access to each floor but also ensure better performance and increased safety.

With ongoing efforts to complete the remaining blocks, the LUP continues to play a vital role in improving the living conditions of Singaporeans.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the lift upgrading programme?

The lift upgrading programme is a project which upgrades and improves the elevators in HDB’s low-rise blocks across Singapore. 

Why is the lift upgrading programme necessary?

The lift upgrading programme is necessary to provide lift access on every floor for HDB residents. 

When was the lift upgrading programme introduced?

The lift upgrading programme was introduced by HDB in 2022. 

Who benefits from the lift upgrading programme?

HDB residents who live in blocks without direct lift access and those who live on certain floors will benefit from the lift upgrading programme. 

What are the elevator specifications in the lift upgrading programme?

The elevator specifications in the lift upgrading programme include real-time monitoring from a centralized master station for events. 

How can I find out more about the lift upgrading programme?

You can find out more about the lift upgrading programme on the HDBs and gov.

sg websites. 

How does the lift upgrading programme work?

The lift upgrading programme involves upgrading existing elevators or installing new ones to provide lift access on every floor. 

How long does the lift upgrading programme take?

The duration of the lift upgrading programme varies depending on the block and the scope of the project. 

Are all HDB residents eligible for the lift upgrading programme?

No, only HDB residents who live in blocks without direct lift access and those who live on certain floors are eligible for the lift upgrading programme. 

How is the lift upgrading programme funded?

The lift upgrading programme is funded by the government. 

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