Based on the eligibility criteria, the eligible population has been identified through the Earthquake Household Damage and Characteristics (EHDC) Survey. The survey sorted houses into three categories:
- completely damaged/in need of demolition;
- partially damaged/could be repaired; and
- not damaged
Beneficiaries of the Earthquake Housing Reconstruction Program are those whose houses have been deemed as completely damaged and in need of demolition in rural areas within the 14 most-affected districts. One housing grant is offered per house (rather than per household or family). For example, if a house has a kitchen, then the house is eligible to receive one housing grant; if a kitchen is shared by multiple families, only one housing grant will be awarded to the single house.
Priority has been given to owner-occupied houses. Owners with two or more houses, or those with annexed structures (such as cowsheds, grain storage facility, etc.) will receive housing grants for only one affected house. In the case of two or more affected houses with the same owner, the beneficiary will select which house will receive the subsidy.
The total grant amount for each house has been increased to NPR 300,000 (Nepalese Rupees; approximately US$3,000) up from the original subsidy level of NPR 200,000. Those beneficiaries who started reconstruction on their own initiative are eligible to receive a subsidy provided that inspections certify that they are following Nepal’s National Building Code (NBC) standards which employ earthquake-safer techniques and materials.
Enrollment & Payment
Following the determination of eligible beneficiaries for the housing grants, enrollment in the Program has been implemented with a detailed program orientation for beneficiaries. A communications campaign is underway to maximize the program's effectiveness and to help beneficiaries understand how the program operates, the roles and responsibilities of government entities, and the scope of support that they will receive through the program.
Eligible beneficiaries have enrolled in the program by entering into a legally binding Participation Agreement (PA) with their Village Development Committee (VDC) or municipality. The PA outlines the entitlements and obligations of both parties regarding key details of the program such as:
- Payment of subsidy (in 3 tranches),
- Required housing construction standards which employ earthquake-resilient construction techniques and materials, and
- A grievance redress mechanism (through which complaints or disputes will be addressed)
Financial Sector Inclusion for Beneficiaries
The National Reconstruction Authority has signed agreements with more than 50 banking and financial institutions (BFIs) who have a presence in the rural districts most affected by the earthquake events. These institutions have established individual bank accounts for each of the housing program's beneficiaries. This will facilitate transparency and accountability in the payment of the subsidy through individual bank accounts as well enable beneficiaries to utilize a bank account for other purposes as well. When participants sign the PA, the information collected is uploaded to the Program's management information system (MIS) and then sent to the individual bank in the area. The bank then opens an account under the beneficiary’s name and the first tranche of the subsidy is deposited in the beneficiary's bank account. Beneficiaries will have to visit the bank branch with a copy of their signed PA to collect their bank cards/passbooks and to withdraw their money.