Although the microfinance sector has expanded exponentially in India, access to housing microfinance by the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) remains limited due to lack of dedicated capital and limited capacity of microfinance institutions (MFIs). MicroBuild India works with Indian financial intermediaries serving low-income populations to offer wholesale debt financing, filling a critical funding gap, and ensures that products and services meet housing quality standards. MicroBuild India aims to be a driver of social impact by being the most competitive wholesale lender for India’s microfinance institutions, so they can provide financial assistance to low-income families for home improvements and repairs.
MicroBuild India is an initiative of Habitat for Humanity International, a global non-profit housing organization that has served more than 600,000 families by building or improving homes, and Mumbai-based financial services company ASK Group. ASK Group has a 49 per cent equity stake, and Habitat a 51 per cent equity stake, in MicroBuild India. Through MicroBuild India, Habitat for Humanity is able to reach more families and progress its vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. MicroBuild India invests in shelter-related microfinance products provided through local financial institutions, with the objective of reducing poverty housing and improving health and living environments for low-income households in India.
MicroBuild India is part of the global MicroBuild Fund, an initiative by Habitat for Humanity International that invests in shelter-related microfinance products provided through local financial institutions. The MicroBuild India Housing Finance Company Pvt. Ltd. was incorporated on 19 November 2010, and received its Certificate of Registration as a housing finance company (HRC) from India’s National Housing Bank on 22 June 2012.
The vision of MicroBuild India is to catalyze innovative, scalable financial solutions to the poverty housing situation in India. This vision is drawn from Habitat for Humanity’s strategic plan to mobilize people, finance and social capital to promote worldwide access to decent, safe, affordable housing. This vision will be achieved by stimulating the retail financial market to develop innovative housing finance solutions, through a combination of wholesale finance loans and technical assistance to financial institutions in India wanting to offer retail housing loan products for home improvements and repairs.
Objectives and Business Model
MicroBuild India’s operational objectives are to reduce poverty housing, and improve health and living environments for low-income families across India, by providing:
- A facility where microfinance institutions (MFIs), HFCs, banks and other financial institutions in India can access wholesale debt financing, in order to develop and offer innovative retail housing loans to families currently living in substandard homes. Attractive wholesale pricing will incentivize financial institutions to engage in the field of housing microfinance.
- Technical assistance through Habitat for Humanity’s Technical Assistance Center (TAC), and other parts of the organization, will ensure the quality of the product and that it meets the requirements of the intermediary financial institution, and the needs of the family end user building a new house or undertaking home improvements or repairs.
MicroBuild India has thus far distributed microfinance loans to Grameen Koota and ESAF Microfinance (EMFIL), enabling 1100 families to access affordable finance.
Institutional investors keen to partner with MicroBuild India can contact us here