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Jul 9, 2006


Singapore is getting its own version of Extreme Home Makeover, an Emmy award nominated TV programme. Good cause involved. Bravo!

Singapore News, Today newspaper, Thursday, July 6, 2006:

A TV charity makeover for heartlander homes

Heartlanders who cannot afford to renovate their homes may just get lucky and have it done for free — the catch being that they would have to appear on a reality TV show.

The Renovation and Decoration Advisory Council (Radac) plans to roll out a local version of the American reality series, Extreme Home Makeover, by early next year, said its chairman, Mr Farok Majeed yesterday.

Unlike most reality TV shows, however, the Community Reality Renovation Makeover programme has a social aim: To help needy families achieve their dream homes with a budget of about $20,000.

Said Mr Farok: "We've talked to banks, suppliers and contractors and they are willing to participate and sponsor the whole renovation. Most probably we'll work with Community Development Councils and ask them to select disadvantaged homes who have no way of (making) home improvements (on their own)."

Radac hopes to help renovate between 12 and 15 homes in the first season. Viewers will then get to vote via SMS for their favourite home.

This move is part of Radac's mission to be a caring organisation, said Mr Farok. He was speaking at a launch of the Radac 2006 directory of accredited renovation contractors in conjunction with the non-profit organisation's 20th anniversary.

Said Mr Farok: "For Radac to be effective in upgrading and maintaining high standards of practice among renovation contractors, it must first succeed in bringing the majority of renovation firms under its wing. Only then can consumers be persuaded and convinced to employ only Radac-accredited (renovation contractors) as a guarantee of good quality work."

There are some 1,800 firms that are registered renovation contractors with the Housing Development Board.

Mr Farok says Radac-accredited renovation contractors account for some 60 per cent of the renovation market, but hopes to increase membership figures to 200. — TOR CHING LI


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