Housing: With the arrival of employees for the Kholungchhu Hydroelectric Project, house rents in Trashiyangtse town have been increasing frequently and dramatically.

Some tenants have even been forced to vacate apartments and houses with rents rising. A number of civil servants were compelled to vacate houses as they could not pay as much as the project’s employees.

A civil servant, who moved out when the owner of the house she was residing in increased the rent, said she had no option.

Another civil servant, who did not wish to be named, said the Nu 6,000/month rent suddenly increased to Nu 8,000/month. “I couldn’t even argue because there is no tradition of drawing agreements between the tenants and the house owners in Yangtse,” said the civil servant.

The civil servant said a housing crunch is emerging in Yangtse town. “The trend will go on until the project’s residence construction is complete at Doksum.”

However, until then the housing crunch will leave those low-income families in a difficult situation.

Another Yangtse town resident said the rent shot up to Nu 7,000/month from Nu 6,000/month in a month’s time. It was again increased to Nu 8,000 the following month. “The house owner said there are some people who are offering to pay Nu 10,000 a month,” the resident said.

A house owner, who also did not wish to be named but had chosen not to raise rent, said there were some cases where house owners wanted to hike rents taking advantage of the situation when prospective tenants offered higher rent over exiting tenants. “Those who could not pay high had to move out eventually.”

Another tenant had to vacate a house for which he was paying Nu 7,000 a month because another tenant offered to pay higher.

Nima Wangdi  | Trashiyangtse