Will allow employees in private and corporate sector to apply

Dechen Dolkar

Tenants of the National Housing Development Corporation Limited’s (NHDCL) affordable housing colonies, who have stayed for 10 or more years, need not vacate the property by December end as notified in the past. 

Considering the issue of not finding affordable housing for tenants and practical reasons for the corporation, tenants will vacate in phases.  In Thimphu alone, there are about 560 tenants who will complete 10 years of occupancy by the end of December this year.

NHDCL’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Rinchen Wangdi, said that there is a huge number of tenants who will be vacating by the end of this year. While finding affordable housing would be difficult due to the sheer number, he said it will incur huge expenditure to repair and maintain the property. “Maintenance would take around six to seven months and result in substantial revenue loss during this period,” he said.

According to NHDC’s allotment rules and regulations, tenants who stayed for more than 10 years in the colony will have to vacate the apartment.

In 2014, NHDCL notified tenants that the 10-year term would be calculated from 2014, irrespective of the year they were allotted the apartment. This meant the 10-year term completes at the end of this year. However, they extended occupancy for another year for some tenants and two years for others with rents revised.

Rinchen Wangdi added that by vacating tenants who had stayed for 10 years, it would provide equal opportunities for those who have applied to rent NHDCL property.

In the first phase, tenants who have stayed for more than 10 years and own property in Thimphu will need to vacate by the end of December this year. NHDCL found, after verifying with the thromde and ACC asset declaration system, that 35 of their tenants own property in Thimphu.

Similarly, those who have stayed for more than 30 years will also need to vacate by December this year. There are around 15 of them who stayed for more than 30 years. About 50 tenants who have resigned from the civil service this year had requested extension until the end of this year.

Altogether, 100 tenants will be vacating by the end of December. The revised rent will be implemented for new tenants starting January.

The remaining tenants, the CEO said, will vacate in the next phases by December 2024, depending on the maximum number of years they have stayed. Every year, 100 units will be vacated.

Rent revised

NHDCL revised the rent for new tenants from January this year.  The revised rent will also apply to tenants who have extended their stay by one to two years.

The revised rent ranges from Nu 4,000 to 12,000 a month depending on the category of apartments.  Rent for one-bedroom apartments increased from Nu 2,000 to 4,000, two-bedroom apartments, from Nu 4,000 to Nu 6,900 and from Nu 8,000 to 12,000 for three-bedroom apartments.

The CEO said NHDCL will also reserve and allot certain units to private and corporate employees from January. Application will open within one or two months and allotment will be based on applicant’s income.

  There are applicants waiting for more than nine years, according to the CEO. As of March, this year, there were around 1,118 applicants for category three, 834 for category two and 135 for category four on the waiting list.

NHDCL has the maximum low-cost housing units in the capital city. Of the total 1,095 units in Thimphu, Chang Jiji colony has 674 units, mostly in category three. NHDCL has 663 units in 11 housing colonies in Pasakha and Phuentsholing town.

Samdrupjongkhar has 101 units, followed by Trashigang with 96 units and 56 units in Zhemgang. Paro has the lowest housing facility with just two units.