Dushanbe - Post Report Question and Answers
What is your housing like? What are typical housing sizes, locations, and commute times for expatriates?
Families usually live in large houses in several different neighborhood clusters, anywhere from a couple minutes to the Embassy or closer to downtown (15-20 minute commute). Every house has a different layout and generally some oddities but most people seemed pretty happy with them. Some have really nice yards with fruit trees, green space, or covered gardens. Singles (and a few couples) pretty much live in one apartment building a 7-10 minute drive from the Embassy and a couple minutes to downtown. The apartments are mostly 2-bed, 2-bath, and the building has a nice gym and decent restaurant in it. Almost everyone who wants to live in the apartment likes it. - Aug 2021
The housing pool is a mix of apartments and single-family homes. The homes tend to be fairly large, but sometimes with weird setups and often no closets (wardrobes are provided). Commutes vary from walking distance to 25-30 minutes. - Apr 2021
I live in a spacious 2-bed, 2-bath apartment with modern amenities a bit outside of the main part of the city. Houses are typically large and offer large courtyards, but many are being razed in favor of large apartment buildings. - Jun 2020
I live in a large house in a Tajik neighborhood. If you're a US Embassy employee, the housing pool has a number of large, comfortable houses (though some of the layouts are odd). If you're anyone else, houses are somewhat expensive, but Western-style apartments have become very cheap in the last couple of years -- a building boom has expanded the supply while demand has stayed the same.
One issue with the US Embassy housing pool is that a lot of it is on the west side of the river, near the Embassy. Convenient to work, but otherwise there's not much of interest over there -- most of the interesting shops and restaurants and whatnot are on the east side. I think this encourages a lot of US diplomats to stay inside the Embassy bubble, which is a shame. - Dec 2016
The housing is decent. The last GSO brought some very nice newer housing into the pool but the rental market is tight there and it is hard to find quality houses. Most of the houses are a decent size. The older houses have some interesting layouts. - Dec 2015
Large houses for embassy employees. Some folks got ornate palace type things with fabulous yards full of cherry & fig trees; I got a concrete block with a prison yard. - Jun 2014
Houses are huge; many have large yards and covered porches. - Mar 2014
Houses are large with strange layouts. Most have small yards with little grass. - Oct 2013
Very large houses for families and singles. They are difficult to heat and cool. The commute time is about 25-30 minutes. - Jan 2012
Most expats live in walled houses (called havlis) that have weird layouts, sparkly wallpaper and lots and lots of space. It's really in your interest to have a generator due to frequent power cuts in the winter. There are also some decent apartments. The apartment buildings look worse from the outside than they are. Water is a problem everywhere. If you are with the US Embassy you will have a generator, a water tank and a distiller, which insulates you from a lot of this. The embassy is a 10-minute drive from most housing, on the edge of town. Other expats can usually walk to work. Local building standards are poor, so be prepared for constant repairs. - Jun 2009
Diplomats are basically in houses with small walled yards. The houses range from nice to opulent, but are more than adequate although sometimes a little strangely laid out! The yards are small, but some have pools, fountains, etc. Ours has a fountain we converted to a sandbox, a cherry tree, 2 fig trees, 2 persimmon trees, and a grape arbor overhead shielding us from the sun. The city is relatively small, and housing is scattered, but 20 minutes is probably adequate to get most anywhere. Apartments in are available, but are not up to Western standards. - Jul 2008