What’s unique about the initiative?

Kirtipur Housing Project is the first planned urban relocation project in Nepal. This project gave a successful alternative to forced eviction. The project was initiated by Kathmandu Metropolitan City in partnership with Lumanti a non-profit making organization dedicated to the alleviation of poverty in Nepal through the improvement of shelter, and the communities, to relocate the slum families affected by the road construction project. A total of forty-three families were relocated to a green and spacious settlement with each house built on 444 sq.ft of land. Establishment of an ‘Urban Community Support Fund’ proved to be a successful approach in the sustainability of the project.

Most outstanding results

Seventeen years have gone, the original owners and their families still live in the Kirtipur Housing Project. When the homeless families living in the slums received a three-day eviction notice due to the construction of a new road, the Lumanti Support Group for Shelter sought a permanent, long-term solution that would work out for all the parties concerned: the families needed a home, the municipality needed the road, and the government needed rules and regulations adhered to.

First, the Urban Community Support Fund was established with the mayor as the chairperson, Lumanti as its secretariat and the representation of slum dwellers, the private sector, and the civil society on the board. They found a plot of land auctioned by a bank and the resettlement project won the bid. The land is collectively owned by the community. Only the houses built on that land could be owned by the residents but not the land itself. Houses would be paid for by the owners over 15 years through regular installment payments.

After that, architects were assigned and house and community designs were explored in a participatory way. Housing plots were distributed through a lottery system to avoid unfair distribution of locations. When construction started, the soon to be residents monitored progress and quality of material and labour.

Essential amenities had to be set up. Road access to houses was part of the plan and construction but private electricity lines, water connections, sewage, and more had to be set up. The community became an example on how rainwater harvesting could be achieved, and managed. There was no sewage system in the area, so a reed-based wastewater treatment system was set up, which hasbecome an example nationwide. These were important interventions as it was only 15 years later that the municipality could provide drinking water to every household in the neighbourhood.

Now, thanks to the cooperation and partnership of different groups, everyone in the community has work, no one has issues related to livelihood and the quality of life is a lot better.

Quote from the evaluation committee

“This is an example of a successful housing redevelopment project, well-funded, with support from the government and municipalities, and replication in other parts of the country. It generates hope that this can be achieved elsewhere.”

– Meena Menon


To know more, read this in-depth article. Also, you can scroll down to download the application form filled by this initiative to take part in the Transformative Cities award.