In various countries around the world, the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) plays a vital role as the primary provider of secure housing units to the general public. Homes are essential because they offer security, control, and a sense of belonging, identity, and privacy. They serve as the starting point each morning and the welcoming haven each evening. By having a home, displaced families have an increased opportunity to establish strong social, economic, and cultural ties within their community.
When individuals are included and integrated into the local community, they have a better chance to rebuild their lives and live with dignity. Recognizing this, our country has embraced visionary leadership, leading to the establishment of the “National Housing Development Corporation” (NHDC) as a significant entity dedicated to fulfilling the country’s livelihood mandates. In times of need, this corporation can even contribute financial assistance to the government.
An excellent example to consider is Singapore, a nation facing a scarcity of land for housing development projects.
Despite this challenge, they have successfully become the foremost provider of public housing, emphasizing the importance of public housing and home ownership as institutional pillars. Following this example, we must plan and develop housing estates in Bhutan that not only provide homes but also transform towns into high-quality living environments for all citizens in our land of gross national happiness. Additionally, our towns should offer commercial, recreational, and social amenities to enhance the convenience of our residents.
The National Housing Development Corporation (NHDC) should initiate the supply of affordable housing units to the public through a scheme supported by financial assistance from the National Pension and Provident Fund. To achieve this, our housing policies should be built upon two pillars of objectives. The first pillar is affordability and quality, while the second pillar focuses on community and income security. We can anticipate affordability as a fundamental goal in all public housing schemes through assistance from institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank, which can provide soft loans under home loan schemes.
Therefore, I strongly urge the collaboration between the National Pension and Provident Fund (NPPF) and the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) to initiate the financing of such schemes for the public. This can be achieved through market liberalization themes, including the privatization of public housing, for long-term sustainability. International banks, as previously mentioned, can offer their support in this endeavor, further safeguarding us from the adversities of inclement weather and other daily hazards we face.
Moreover, a home is a place where comfort is found, memories are stored, and bonds are strengthened. It provides protection from external elements such as heat, cold, sun, wind, and rain. Therefore, the NHDC must devise a comprehensive roadmap to ensure an adequate supply of homes to the true citizens of our country before the situation worsens in the land of gross national happiness. This must include the provision of decent, affordable housing flats for families. Not only does this fulfill the basic human need for shelter, but it also contributes to the overall well-being of both parents and children. Living in a safe and secure home reduces stress, exposure to toxins, and the risk of infectious diseases, leading to improvements in both physical and mental health. Additionally, home is a place where one can freely express their thoughts and emotions, where laughter, giggles, and smiles can freely flourish, as it is the abiding place of affection.
Note: Edited for clarity