HDB gives out $36,000 for community projects at void decks
Under a HDB fund, residents can propose projects and apply for funding
The iconic Housing Board void deck is not just a space.
For Madam Christine Koo, 37, and her neighbours at the Yishun Greenwalk estate, it was a place for gathering and games over a feast of tropical fruits last August.
At the amphitheatre of the SkyTerrace @ Dawson estate, Madam Kathleen Chia, 53, an operations executive at a senior care centre, organised a terrarium-making workshop which was popular with both young and old neighbours last month.
These were some of the projects under the HDB Friendly Faces, Lively Places Fund, which was launched last year.
Nearly $36,000 has been disbursed or committed to eight community projects at HDB void decks since last May.
Three projects have been completed, and five are still ongoing.
From these projects, the community has contributed or committed about $55,000 worth of resources.
Under the fund, residents can propose community projects and apply for funding of up to $10,000 from the HDB.
As part of the criteria and to encourage more residents to step forward to participate in the project, the residents must raise a community "match" of up to 30 per cent of the amount of funding that is applied for.
The "match" can be in the form of volunteering hours, professional services, equipment or other materials or supplies such as food, tools or furniture.
For ease of implementation, HDB will value volunteering time at $25 an hour and professional services relevant to the project such as software and app designers and project managers at $80 an hour.
All donated materials and supplies such as food and tools will be valued at their retail prices.
This new fund, announced by Minister of National Development Lawrence Wong last May, is an expansion of the Good Neighbours Project, which was launched in 2014 and provides up to $1,000 funding for each activity.
Funding can be provided for physical improvement projects, such as converting a void deck to a community living room or installation of a public art, said a HDB spokesman.
It could also be non-physical projects such as the design and planning of community events.
HDB has set aside $500,000 over the next five years for the fund. It is open for application throughout the year.
Ulu Pandan resident and certified magician, Dr Sin Yong, 28, will be performing magic tricks at an open space near Ghim Moh market on April 29.
For his performance, a total of $5,000 has been committed by HDB, and they received $5,500 in matching pledge from the community.
Apart from promoting neighbourliness, his magic show will also encourage residents to look out for one another to build a gracious society.
Dr Sin, a medical doctor who has been practising magic since he was 12, said: "I was intrigued when I found out about the fund and thought it would be a way to put my training to use and bring some wonder to people."
Those who are keen to tap on this fund can download the application form from the HDB InfoWEB; complete it and send it to HDB_Community_Partnerships@hdb.gov.sg.
Let's get together
What: Knowing You, Knowing Me, Fruits Together
How much: $700 disbursed by HDB, $1,960 community match received
Madam Christine Koo, 37, and a team organised a get-together at the precinct pavilion of Block 318, Yishun Greenwalk in August last year.
The event attracted 70 residents who feasted on fruits such as durians and mangosteens.
Madam Koo, who is self-employed, said: "We also had games so that the neighbours could interact with one another. Singaporeans can be quite shy so it was nice to see our neighbours coming down and making new friends."
What: Terrarium Art
How much: $992 committed by HDB, $500 community match received
The event was held on Dec 10 last year in conjunction with SkyTerrace @ Dawson Get Together.
Organiser Kathleen Chia, an operations executive,learnt terrarium-making skills online and trained volunteers to help with the workshop, which was attended by nearly 160 neighbours.
Madam Chia, 53, said: "It was a joy to see young and old residents enjoying themselves and creating a product that was pleasing to the eye. It was also a good way to interact with neighbours."