Dechen Dolkar

The National Housing Development Corporation (NHDCL) will discuss the government’s executive order on revising tenancy agreements for Changjiji colony residents at the upcoming board meeting on February 26.

The government plans to amend the Chanjiji colony tenancy agreement, allowing residents to stay in their houses until retirement or transfer.

CEO Rinchen Wangdi said that NHDCL will discuss the executive order’s implications and implementation at the meeting.

The previous criteria set by NHDCL, including a maximum ten-year occupancy period, would be overridden if the executive order applies to Changjiji colony.

During the meeting, the board will decide whether to apply the agreement revision uniformly or solely to Changjiji colony.

The CEO said that the ten-year limit aimed to provide equal opportunity to civil servants who had been waiting for housing for 10 to 15 years. However, he mentioned that the immediate impact of the agreement revision would affect those who have been waiting.

Last year, NHDCL announced that they would allow corporate and private employees to reside in their colony.

However, he said that with the revision, there would be fewer opportunities for private and corporate employees to occupy since there are few vacant houses annually.

He mentioned that there had been a slight increase in vacant houses in the past one to two years due to a higher number of civil servants resigning. Normally, Thimphu sees a maximum of 20 vacant houses annually.

He said that the issue of allowing private and corporate employees to occupy the colony further would also be discussed in the board meeting.

Thimphu alone has a waiting list of around 2,000 across all categories, and NHDCL has stopped accepting new applications.

The system is upgrading, transitioning criteria from a grade-based system to an income-based one, which will be completed by February.

In the new system, applicants are required to declare their spouses’ income status.

CEO said that there are cases where applicants are not low-income individuals as both spouses are earning. The board will also discuss the assessment of old tenants’ incomes.

Recently, NHDCL has allotted housing to 40 new tenants.

The government also issued an executive order to formulate plans to develop additional low-income housing in the country.

The CEO said this would be discussed at the board meeting, addressing issues such as the lack of land in Thimphu to construct a colony and the surplus of vacant houses in some peripheral areas.

The status and report are to be submitted to the Prime Minister by March 1, 2024.