Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation Unveil Housing Microfinance Toolkit
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Habitat for Humanity and the Citi Foundation announced the publication of a new toolkit designed to provide technical training and tools to encourage microfinance institutions to include or enhance housing microfinance products in their portfolios. The Housing Microfinance: Product Development Toolkit is intended to influence the $60 billion global microfinance sector, resulting in small, affordable loans that low-income families can use to improve their housing incrementally. The toolkit was developed by Habitat’s Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance with lead sponsorship by the Citi Foundation and additional support from the Multilateral Investment Fund.
“Because much of the developing world produces housing in stages as families assemble the materials and resources, Habitat for Humanity International has made housing microfinance a strategic focus,” said Mike Carscaddon, executive vice president, International, Habitat for Humanity International. “Our hope is this toolkit can help increase access to financial services needed by low-income families worldwide.”
According to the Economic Research Department of Rabobank, Nederland, roughly 4 billion people living in developing countries lack access to formal financial services. The Habitat for Humanity toolkit will help connect low-income families with affordable financial services for increasing access to adequate housing. The toolkit is available in English and Spanish, and contains a variety of modules that provide resources and strategies for developing sustainable housing microfinance programs, including market research, product design, pilot planning and implementation, and housing support services. Future editions will cover topics such as secure tenure, micro mortgages, micro savings, and the expansion of the housing support services module.