NHDCL Spreads its Wings

NHDCL Spreads its Wings

From July this year corporate and private sector employees can avail housing units of NHDCL

The National Housing and Corporation Development Limited (NHDCL) is upgrading the on-line application system, which will allow corporate and private sector employees to avail the facility of NHDCL’s affordable housing. 

The chief executive officer (CEO) of NHDCL, Rinchen Wangdi said that the corporation is upgrading the on-line application system which is expected to be ready by July this year. “It is a part of reforms and transformation underway in the country and moreover to be more transparent and accountable in the society to give equal opportunity to the citizens,” said Rinchen Wangdi, adding that NHDCL will do their best to adjust equally to corporate and private employees with the NHDCL’s unit in the country.

For instance, the CEO said that like any civil servant, the corporate and private employees will have to register through on-line application. However, according to the CEO, the NHDCL will verify the applicants based on income basis and not on grade basis.

“Now with the new system, we will verify based on income basis of both husband and wife unlike before when it was done on grade basis of anyone in the civil servants,” the CEO said, adding that NHDCL hopes to clear misunderstanding amongst the people and the NHDCL.

The CEO shared that it is true that people wishing to live in the NHDCL units are complaining, especially those in the Changjiji colony in Thimphu that even high post civil servants are living in the colony. If a wife is a cleaner and husband a teacher, then automatically the unit is granted as it is applied by the wife.

To this, the CEO clarified that the allotment criteria of the NHDCL itself says that if a wife is at lower grade then the criteria doesn’t look at the grade for the husband. “This is the reality and it is important that people be honest and it is very hard for NHDCL to track all individuals. Nevertheless, we hope to solve such issues very soon.”    

For instance, the CEO said that many people apply for NHDCL units every year and with less vacant units in a year, the people will have to wait for their turn as per the on-line application that they have applied.

Currently, NHDCL allots units to those who have applied in 2011, which means there are many in the waiting list who want to stay in the NHDCL units. “In a year, the number of vacant units is very less compared to applicants and the applicants have to wait for their turn,” the CEO said.

Meanwhile, the CEO also shared that with the recommendation from the reforms and transformation team, beginning this year they have also increased the rent for NHDCL’s unit in the country.

However, the NHDCL didn’t increase the rent for the old tenants as the allotment rule doesn’t allow the company to increase the rent but those who are new has to pay the revised rent.

According to the CEO, there are some who don’t want to stay at the NHDCL apartment and complain of high rental charges. However, he said that the revised rent is still below the market rate and is still affordable and does not exceed 30% of the income.

The CEO also said that all the NHDCL units in the country is occupied though some are leaving. However, it is not a problem as the next online applicant will be filling the vacant apartments. “Currently, even with the revised rental charges, all the units of NHDCL is occupied,” the CEO said.

According to the CEO, NHDCL revised the rent as the previous rent setting model will not be able to sustain the company since there isn’t any subsidy from the government.

“In order to sustain the company, we have revised the rent since the beginning of this year without having any intention to pressure the tenants living in the NHDCL colony keeping in mind the country’s economy, and many people going abroad with chances of units becoming empty, ” said the CEO, adding that the decision to increase the rent is not an add-hoc plan but based on a study done as per the expert groups in order to sustain the company.

Meanwhile, until this July as and when the new upgraded on-line application system gets ready, the corporate and private employee will have to wait in order to avail the facility of the affordable houses in the country.

Rinchen Wangdi said that the apartments of NHDCL is the most convenient rental infrastructure as they don’t have to listen to hassles from the private building owner with much equipped facility.

Currently, the three housing categories of NHDCL includes general housing category, affordable housing category and business housing category, amongst others. 

Those bungalows which are occupied by the executives are categorized into general housing category, and residents are charged the market rate ranging from Nu 20,000 to 30,000 with 4bhk to 5bhk. For categories of affordable housing units, a subsidized rate of Nu 6500 for 2bhk is charged.

Sherab Dorji from Thimphu