Scheme to help pensioners own homes

Housing: Members of the National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF) have an option to own a home anywhere in the country after they retire.

Civil servants, corporate employees and armed forces personnel could opt for the member home loan scheme of the Fund that would provide subsidised loan with design and technical support.

But one should have a plot of land. The loan is strictly for residential buildings.

NPPF has built two model homes, a split duplex and a bungalow, at Debsi, Thimphu.

The officiating CEO for NPPF, Dungtu, said the scheme is to encourage public servants to own homes (pha-chim or ma chim).

“This policy is to prevent our members being left without a proper dwelling at the end of their career,” Dungtu said.

The NPPF today has 92 residential buildings with 912 units.

“But this figure is too small compared to the more than 52,000 members, so we came up with the scheme,” he said.

It is better to take the loan and build your house than pay rent for about 35 years, which is the usual service period of most civil servants, he said.

The main focus group of the scheme is mid-career members of the fund owning a plot of land on any part of the country with access to road, water and electricity.

The loan is for a period of 20 years at an annual interest of 11 percent. Finance part includes interest rate of 11 percent an annum for a period of 20 years and repayment through EMI from monthly salary and primary security or mortgage is the land and home proposed to be built.

About 23 civil servants have availed of the loan but chose to have their own designs.

“We’re also fostering self-reliance by encouraging the use of local materials and local workers,” an NPPF official Pema said.

The corporation’s long-term objective is to develop a centre of excellence in home ownership, combining expertise in designing, financing, and building of affordable and comfortable homes.

The scheme has a design, finance and build model but the corporation wants to see the response to the scheme before establishing a unit to build the homes.

The members can transfer the loan to their spouse or children who are members of the fund, officials said.

The scheme has a design, finance and build model but the corporation wants to see the response to the scheme before establishing a unit to build the homes.

NPPF will design, which includes architectural, structural and electrical drawings, cost estimation, approval process, and recommendations of materials.

NPPF adhering to RMA prudential norms will provide 80 percent of the loan if the estimated cost is up to Nu 1 million and 70 percent if the cost is between Nu 1 million and Nu 2 million. The loan amount drops to 60 percent if the cost is above Nu 2 million.

“We have proved that one can build proper homes on a budget as modest as between Nu 2 million and Nu 3 million,” the official said.

The clients have the option of self-construction or NPPF recommending competent builders.

About 49 trainees of Chumey Technical Training Institute with four instructors built the model houses in five months.

A trainee Karma Yuden said that building the houses gave them hands-on experience.

“Given a project, we can form a group and build houses,” the trainee from Lhuentse said. The trainees of masonry, carpentry and plumbing will graduate in June.

“This service is an extension of our mandates to provide equitable, accessible and affordable, based on budget, package of home ownership programme,” Dungtu said.

 Tshering Palden

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