Thukten Zangpo

The Ministry of Works and Human Settlement is working on the strategy and concept document for home ownership. The document is expected to be ready soon.

For working employees in government, corporate and private sectors, owning a home is a bigger challenge.

Chief executive officer of the National Housing Development Corporation Limited (NHDCL), Rinchen Wangdi, said that human settlement ministry, NHDCL and National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF) are in discussion to come up with the right model for home ownership with the help of an international consultant.

“We have to come up with a model that is acceptable to the parties – beneficiaries, promoters and developers,” he said, adding that the concept paper has to be aligned with the ministry’s plan.

Who would be the beneficiaries is yet to be decided, Rinchen Wangdi said.

He added that the model would look into civil servants and the armed forces that have 5 to 7 years left before retirement. “After working for 30 to 35 years, they end up staying in the rental apartment because they cannot go to the village and work.”

Rinchen Wangdi also said that they would look into mid-level civil servants and private employees. “Like Singapore, we can give the option for bachelors to upgrade to bigger flats once they have family.”

However, he said that availability of land and access to finance is a challenge. Rinchen Wangdi said that borrowing from the market at high interest rates is not a viable option.

NPPF has shared their willingness to collaborate with financing.

Rinchen Wangdi said that the homeownership model has to be attractive so that people can invest and it has to be located near the medical facilities, schools and other basic amenities.

He added that the concept is not new since the office experimented with 32 units of housing in Changjiji as a pilot project. “We have the project in hand to reflect, what has worked well and what has not.”

Some beneficiaries have completed the loan repayment while others are still repaying.