Looking for a House on rent In Gasa
Since I got appointment order posting me at Gasa, I have been looking for a house through friends and friends’ friends but it seems there isn’t any. All suggest that I live combined with other staff till I find separate accommodation. I thought while I attend induction program, I would confirm at least house to live in. As two weeks passed looking for a house through friends, euphoria of my first civil service placement has died down. I have decided to quit my high paying corporate job so that I could play larger role to support publi. But even before I join, I doubt whether I made the mistake in choosing the career.
However, other than house, I understood from various sources that getting posted in districts and rural places have its share of advantages and disadvantages. While enrichment through information and development may be poor, it is being compensated by community vitality people experienced. Everybody knows everybody there. One also gets opportunity to reconnect with nature and the slow-paced life in rural Bhutan.
I have been leaving in the city for last eight years including my college days. I was so consumed by modern entertainment and competition that I have forgotten the feel of morning breeze, heat of afternoon sun and beauty of changing seasons. Worst, I realized that I didn’t know from where sun rises and set and which direction is north or south. Embarrassing it may sound; I had to ask around to tell me which is south and which is north. Luckily I could differentiate which is east and west based on my observations of sun while trying to follow astrologer’s advice while leaving to Gasa.
Anyway, coming back to house, it is very difficult for civil servants or public servants to find house be it in urban or rural Bhutan.
The market economists will argue that supply and demand leaving to the market forces will adjust itself at the optimum position so that demand meets supply. However as Keynesian economists argue, something cannot left simply to the market force. One such thing is Housing problems in Bhutan especially in urban area. On one hand, tenants on average spend more than 60 percent of their salary to pay the rent. That is 30% more than internationally accepted practice of 60%. On other hand, landlords are burdened with loan repayment. Considering loan repayment duration, house owners can’t afford to lower their rent as dictated by market demand. This is scenario of the urban areas.
Salaried people living in rural areas too face housing crunch. Although houses are cheap and affordable, there are simply no enough houses to rent out. The land owners can’t build house to rent out simply because demands are unreliable and returns are not profitable. So in rural place where civil servants work, there is excess demand in some places while there are excess supplies in some other places.
As every other rural place, Gasa has its own housing problems. As Gasa is least developed district, it has problem of less supply and unreliable demand. The supply is also of poor quality with no proper water and sanitation system. But my colleague reminds me that Gasa had developed so much in last two-three years after road connection.
Even after two weeks of house hunt, I am living in house of another staff taking advantage of his generosity.