New bill guarantees citizens’ right to housing

  • Concerned local levels will collect records of beneficiaries for detailed identification

Kathmandu, August 15

The Bill on Right to Housing recently registered by the Ministry of Urban Development in the Parliament stipulates a provision of ‘appropriate housing facility’ to homeless Nepali citizens in accordance with the spirit of the constitution.

The bill states, “Every citizen shall have the right to housing. No one shall be deprived of housing facilities or otherwise discriminated on the grounds of his/her origin, colour,

caste, ethnicity, gender, physical condition, disability, health, marital status, pregnancy, financial condition, language or area and ideology, among others.”

As per Section 7 of the bill, the Government of Nepal, provincial government or local level shall have to provide housing facilities to homeless persons and families on the basis of prioritisation and available resources by maintaining coordination among one another.

“Subsidised financial assistance shall be provided to the beneficiaries for the purpose of housing facilities. In case of highly disadvantaged beneficiaries who are not capable of making arrangements of housing with even the subsidised financial assistance, they shall be provided with housing facilities as prescribed,” the bill states.

It requires the concerned local level to collect records of the beneficiaries for their detailed identification and living condition.

“The local level shall issue an identity card to the concerned persons or families deemed eligible for housing facilities. The details of identity cards distributed by the local level shall be provided to the concerned provincial government and the MoUD,” the bill states.

The Government of Nepal, provincial government and local level shall have to provide housing facilities to the concerned persons or families on the basis of identity cards without duplication.

The Government of Nepal and the provincial government are obliged to provide financial and technical assistance to the local levels to fulfil the objectives set out in the bill.

“Prior to enjoying housing facilities, the persons or families identified as per the law has to make self-declaration stating that they don’t have land or house, or both, in any part of the country and that they are not able to make arrangements of housing from their income and resources,” Section 12 of the bill states.

The proposed law prohibits housing facilities to persons who are incumbent, retired or sacked government, army or police employees; receiving remuneration or any financial facilities from domestic or foreign company, corporate body, partnership or firm; getting any financial facility from I/NGOs; engaged in business or income generating activities in private sector; working or have retired from any agency of foreign countries or international organisations; have obtained resident status of a foreign country or are living abroad permanently; living in rented house, land or apartment; and don’t have house but possess movable and immovable property.

“If any one enjoys housing facilities by submitting bogus details or uses the housing for other purposes, he/she shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or a fine of up to Rs 100,000, or both,” the bill reads.