NHDC program will allow civil servants to own apartments

The housing colony at Changjiji

If the National Housing and Development Corporation (NHDC)’s home ownership program comes through civil servants will have the chance to become proud owners of the government quarters they occupy.

The apartments for the project which targets middle and low income groups will be constructed by the corporation and sold to the civil servants for a down-payment of Nu 30,000 which will be followed by installments.

All the buildings will be four storied and will have eight units.

The NHDC has not worked on the logistics as of now, and the cost estimation for the construction will be determined after the completion of the draft for the program.

The corporation’s Real Estate General Manager, Dechen Wangdi, said NHDC was on a lookout for a 10 to 15 acre land in Thimphu but the NHDC might have to ask the government for lease of land or might have to purchase it.

He said, firstly, they had to follow the directives sent by the cabinet.

The NHDC had put up the home ownership program proposal to the cabinet sometime around May, this year, and the cabinet directed it to first work out the existing housing rental stock, meaning to increase the rents of the NHDC housing complexes, example the Changjiji housing complex.

An official from the NHDC said that one of the concerns that the cabinet had raised was that this project could encourage the rural-urban drift.

“It will take some time, the planning for this project is in a preliminary stage,” said the Managing Director Ugyen Tshewang.

He said hopefully the draft will be completed by next year.

The housing development corporation also has plans to extend the home ownership program to all the dzongkhags, but, it would be on a smaller scale compared to Thimphu.

“Having this project in all the dzongkhags will encourage civil servants to go to other dzongkhags instead of being solely concentrated in Thimphu, and they will also have choices in dzongkhags,” said Dechen Wangdi.

According to the recent Prime Minister’s state of the nation report, the NHDC was collaborating with the Ministry of Labor and Human Resources (MoLHR) in an effort to establish home maintenance services; this is expected to take care of minor emergency works like plumbing and electrical works.

The PM said this was also aimed to generate employment opportunities for the Vocational Training Institute graduates.

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  1. this is a good example of in-house in-bred thinking. The civil service has ‘justified’ in the past why they should get paid for 14 months in a 12 month year and successfully given themselves one month extra salary for ‘LTC” and then another month’s salary as “earned leave’. Since the proposer and the approver all benefit, this is how these things get approved.

    Now we have another self-service proposal to take away the housing of future civil servants by the current civil servants. If you remember, the land in Changjiji was basically stolen for 20/sft from the Changjijips. If they give away these apartment’s to the current civil servants, then the next batch of civil servants is going to ‘justify’ again grabbing more land from other citizens to build their own quarters and later buy it as their own property.

    This is fundamentally unjust. 

    And there are other problems. Changjiji was supposed to be ‘low income housing’. How come non-low income people are living there? How come only civil servants? Who said it was only for civil servants? 

    Why is it that civil servants, the people who provide very little service to the people, are getting all the benefits?

  2. anyway, my advice to civil servants planning to buy the changjiji apartments is that those buildings are extremely crappily built. May not be worth your money come the next big earthquake. 

  3. apkado, you are now exhibiting your true color.

    • If NHDC is atall contemplating to come out with such a scheme, it is a welcome step that will benefit the middle and lower rung civil servants who could own their own flats through a workable monthly instalment finally paying up for a fixed flat price made affordable at the time of retirement/supernuation. So many of those retired or nearing retirement would have missed such an opportunity thus having no access to any shelter even after having served for decades. If we recall there was one time known as RICB colony which is now taken over by NPPF that was supposed to cater such needs but for some influential people who had constructed their buildings would have lost their potential tenants did not come in terms with such a scheme. Lack of such a facility is also factor immune to corruptive practices which are now more rampant. Cabinet’s reservation of fearing rural-urban infux is out of question in this case because this facility is meant for civil servants and not for others.

    • so where will the coming generation of junior civil servants live if the retiring ones grab the limited housing?

  4. the existing norm of pay and stay is good than plan for sale to the owners. there are many issues to be taken care of when we consider to let the tenants buy the gov house. first, what about the civil servants who were not given the housing to stay forget about buying it later; the changiji is already occupied with people who are double earners( both the spouses earning) or have high pay but got allotted to stay due to links; the chances are that only the have will get it; second, changjiji tenants should be changed every 5 years and given to other civil servants who are left at the mercy of the pvt house owners to make a kill without gov intervention; third, where are the criteria to let tenants buy and own gov houses?, fourth, the loopholes of corruption is high and add to the already heavy work our people in the ACC are entrusted with. the gov should build more houses and allot to civil servants to stay and those who are not provided based on various reasons should be given housing allowance so that there wont be that much corruption in housing allotment or people will not opt only for gov houses.

  5. The NHDCL is catching frogs in place of fishes. Their mandate is to provide mass housing for the low and mid income Bhutanese across the country. Home ownership is good idea but they will fail the mission because they are 100% parasite of RGoB.

    The are starting some vague idea of maintenance services which sounds very silly! This should be left to the private sectors and NHDCL should concentrate on construction of mass housing. This program will not sustain and it is a sheer wastage of time and resources of the Govt.

    They have also started to bring monthly news bulletin for their tenants. They are trying to copy the Singapore Housing Development Board just because some of the senior officers visited it. The difference between HDB and NHDCL is like sky and the earth, we can not match them. The news bulletin papers are littered in and around the colonies. Hence, it is a sheer wastage of very scarce resources of Govt and.

    But can not help it, because it a trend in Bhutan whenever new CEO joins any agencies, he or she has to show something new at a huge cost which will not benefit the Country, agency and the society.

    It is not very late to stop all these silly ideas.

  6. First provide housing for all, then think of selling. There is already so much controversy in the Changjiji housing complex, with many alleging that most of the flats were occupied by well to do high salary earners. What guarantees are there, that the same thing won’t happen when selling those flats? Most of these heads/leaders have the habit of not planning things properly beforehand, and later commit all those mistakes that cannot be undone.

  7. if the mode of selling off the flats is through a lucky dip of all civil servants and not just the ones occupying them, then for sure the whole idea will collapse. What is happening now is that those who are already occupying them want to keep them for life. The idea is deeply corrupted from the start.

    if they MUST sell them, i recommend that they do a lucky dip of all the citizens of bhutan, why just civil servants? It’s govt land with govt bldgs, why do civil servants always get the benefits?

  8. This is a good initiative form NHDC. As of now the pay and stay system is good for the house owner. They take out all the loan repayment from the tenant and charge huge rents. They say that they have to repay the loan but does not think that after 20 years the building will be theirs. Its like paying the owners loan.
    If the NHDC really comes through with this proposal then atleast we will be paying for the house that we will own later and not paying for house that will be somebody else later.

  9. Sad but fact: We Bhutanese people can find rough edge from an  egg. Only see the negative side of things.

  10. Civil Servants will have to be treated well because they are civilly uncivil. Their jobs are protected and they need protection from rain, sun and cold, thus they require roof over their heads.

    All the facilities are always for the CIVIL SERVANTS. Others are second hand citizens.

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