Govt to provide housing grant to relocate to integrated settlements

Kathmandu, December 26

The Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD) will provide a housing grant of up to Rs 500,000 to every household that agrees to relocate to integrated settlements designated by the government.

The Cabinet on Monday approved the Guideline on Relocation of Vulnerable Settlements and Development of Integrated Settlements, paving the way for extension of grant of Rs 300,000 to every household in Tarai, Rs 400,000 to every household in the hilly region and Rs 500,000 to every household in the mountainous region, on condition the money is used to build a new house in integrated settlements identified by the government.

The integrated settlements will have open space, roads, electricity supply, school, health post, police station, banks and financial institutions, among others.

People living in areas prone to disaster, such as earthquake, landslide and floods, will be eligible to relocate to the integrated settlements and build houses using the grant provided by the government.

The grant will also be given to people living in isolated or far-flung areas where delivery of public goods and services can jack up government’s costs. The grant will be given in three instalments of 30 per cent, 50 per cent and 20 per cent of the total amount.

The government has formed a 10-member coordination committee under the urban development minister to conduct a comprehensive study on households that need to be relocated and finalise the relocation plan.

“We have already identified some of the households invulnerable areas that need tobe relocated,” said MoUD Secretary Ramesh Prasad Singh. “But we need to do a comprehensive study.”

The MoU will soon publish a public notice calling on interested consultants to conduct the study. The consultant will work with local governments and district disaster management committees to prepare the report, which needs to be submitted to the MoUD by the end of 2019, according to Singh

Once the government finalises the number of households that need to be relocated, integrated settlements will be developed by the government.