CDIA Delivers First Batch of Training on Green and Resilient Affordable Housing in Bhutan
April 27, 2023
CDIA delivered an intensive training course on developing green and resilient affordable housing on 26-27 April 2023 in Phuentsholing City, Bhutan. The activity was in line with the ongoing capacity building assistance that CDIA is providing to the government to prepare for the implementation of Tranche 2 of the Green and Resilient Affordable Housing Sector Project (GRAHSP) with support from the Asian Development Bank.
Some 25 technical staff and officials attended from the cities of Phuentsholing, Nganglam, Samdrup Jongkhar, and Samtse. Likewise, key officials from the National Housing Development Corporation Limited (NHDCL) and the Construction Development Corporation Limited (CDCL) – Phuentsholing joined the activity.
The participants, who are involved in urban planning, design, engineering, and municipal services, are key to delivering the needed affordable housing in the cities, which are currently hampered by a lack of available state land, high cost of imported construction materials, and the absence of financing mechanisms especially for the poor, among others.
Over two days, four modules were thoroughly discussed: 1) Green and Resilient Urban Planning; 2) From Housing Needs to Housing Demand; 3) Affordability Arrangements – Benchmarks; and 4) Green and Resilient Materials. Stakeholders prioritized these topics in an earlier training needs assessment.
Module 1 provided the basic principles of climate adaptation and mitigation in the context of affordable housing; and the specific measures, such as vulnerability assessment and carbon footprint calculations that cities can implement to plan toward a more resilient and green housing sector.
Module 2, on the other hand, was aimed at developing a methodology to assess the affordable housing demand, starting with identifying the demographic trends and housing needs, determining the key principles of housing affordability, and undertaking consultations leading to the appraisal of demand.
Module 3 explained the existing mechanisms to finance affordable housing, key international benchmarks for promoting homeownership, public-private partnership arrangements, and other examples of affordable housing policies. Finally, Module 4 tackled timber as a model material for housing construction, which has a potential of significantly lowering the construction cost; and presented ready-made design options.
“The training has helped me to gain a deeper insight into the existing norms and practices and it supplemented my knowledge of the pressing issues of today such as climate change, resilience, and affordable housing,” said Ugyen Pemo, Urban Planner from Phuentsholing Thromde.
“I hope to translate my learnings into the review of local area plans, as the training has made me aware of the different options available for green initiatives and affordable housing parameters, which should be made critical in the local area plans,” she added.
The second batch of training, focusing on the same topics will be delivered on 3-4 May 2023 for stakeholders involved in scaling up affordable housing in Thimphu and Mongar, together with officials from the Ministry of Works and Human Settlements, NHDCL, as well as representatives from banks and the private sector.
See related story: Laying the Foundation for Green and Resilient Affordable Housing in Bhutan