Govt paves way for distribution of housing grants

The government has given the ‘Procedure on Distribution of Grant for Reconstruction of Houses Fully Damaged in Earthquake, 2015’ its seal of approval, paving the way for providing a maximum of Rs 200,000 to the beneficiaries in three installments.

The procedure was formulated by the Ministry of Urban Development with the objective of making the grant distribution to genuine earthquake victims systematic. The procedure will come into effect immediately in the earthquake-affected districts.

The concerned house owner whose house has been fully damaged and cannot be reused, and the person or family who does not have any house apart from the damaged one will be entitled to the grant.

The beneficiary would be required to produce a copy of citizenship certificate or Voter ID or a copy of land ownership certificate or Earthquake Victim Identity Card issued by the District Disaster Relief Committee to claim the grant. “If the applicant does not have any of these evidences, he/she should be verified by the local body,” it read.

The grant amount to be distributed to the beneficiaries will not exceed Rs 200,000 each and will be provided in three installments through banking channels. Those who do not hold a bank account will be provided the grant in cash.

The concerned Urban Development and Building Construction Division Office will provide the beneficiaries various models of earthquake-resistant houses to choose from before sanctioning the amount.

“The additional cost exceeding Rs 200,000 will be borne by the concerned house owner. In case of house owners who are not capable of bearing the additional cost, the local body will provide them subsidised loan of up to Rs 300,000 against collective guarantee.

According to the procedure, the grant of Rs 200,000 will not be provided to those who have already been fully benefited from Nepal or foreign-based organisations for the reconstruction of their house.

A District Level Project Implementation Unit headed by Local Development Office has been formed to recommend grant to the beneficiaries.

There will be a seven-member Central Housing Reconstruction Directorate Committee under the convenorship of chief executive of the National Reconstruction Authority to provide programme and budget for the reconstruction of the destroyed houses.

Chairperson of the National Planning Commission will act as the CHRDC coordinator until the appointment of NRA chief executive.

As many as 602,594 private houses were fully damaged and 284,486 other partially damaged in the earthquakes.