The Government of Nepal has selected as many as 13,596 beneficiaries under safe citizen housing programme, said a source at the Ministry of Urban Development.

Of those selected beneficiaries, grant agreements were reached with 11,879 households till mid-October.

According to a quarterly proactive disclosure made by the MoUD last week, construction of houses belonging to 3,269 beneficiaries, who concluded the mandatory grant agreements, have been completed. “The Ministry of Finance has already allocated the budget to local levels for the implementation of the safe citizen housing programme on recommendation of the MoUD,” read the report.

According to the MoUD, the programme is executed in line with Safe Citizen Housing Implementation Procedure-2019, to ensure arrangement of appropriate, safe and environment-friendly housing for people living below the poverty line and those who have been rendered homeless due to various types of natural disasters. This requires the government to identify and select beneficiaries on the basis of the recommendation letter of the concerned local level and district disaster management committee.

Only the families living in a hut or house with thatched roof, which is vulnerable to fire, rain and storm will benefit from this scheme. “Priority shall be attached to families with senior citizens, orphans, single women and persons with disabilities. Any joint family is entitled to grant amount for only one housing unit,” reads the procedure.

The procedure has empowered the Safe Citizen Housing Coordination Committee, led by a directly elected member of the House of Representatives to select beneficiaries from among the families identified by the Federal Level Project Implementation Unit in the concerned constituency.

The FLPIU will enter into a grant agreement with the selected beneficiaries for the purpose of construction of safe housing. The grant amount is provided through a banking channel in two instalments, 60 per cent and 40 per cent. After receiving the first tranche of the grant amount, the concerned beneficiary shall proceed with housing construction work.

The last instalment shall be released once a report from the concerned local level and technical committee confirm that the first instalment was properly used.

Amount exceeding the grant for construction shall be borne by the concerned family.

If the grant amount is not found to have been used for the purpose for which it was provided, the FLPIU shall recover the cash from the concerned beneficiary as a government due. Beneficiaries of the post-earthquake reconstruction and vulnerable settlement relocation, among other schemes, shall not be entitled to the grant referred to in the procedure.