Articles by Steven Weir and Susana Rojas Williams
Studies suggest that between 20 to 30 percent of microfinance institution (MFI) clients use portions of their small business start-up or production loans for housing improvements. While MFIs see this as "leakage" for non-productive activities, "productive housing" should be viewed as both a livelihood strategy as well as asset creation.
Access to finance and secure tenure has been shown to be the most effective catalysts for self-help incremental housing improvements. But while they are essential, even together, they are not sufficient to improve the living conditions for many of the world’s low-income populations.