Habitat for Humanity partners with ASK Group to launch MicroBuild India Fund
Habitat for Humanity International and Habitat for Humanity India have signed a new agreement with the ASK Group, securing their investment in the ‘MicroBuild India Fund’, a new initiative that will help more than 60,000 low-income families access small loans to improve or repair their homes over the next five years.
The MicroBuild India Fund will invest in reputable, local microfinance institutions which, in turn, will allow them to offer affordable home improvement loans to low-income families.
“We know that many low-income families in India face obstacles when trying to secure loans to improve or repair their homes,” said Rick Hathaway, vice president of Habitat for Humanity International’s Asia-Pacific office: “Thanks to support from ASK Group, we are able to unveil the MicroBuild India Fund to give more people access to the financial support they need. This move takes us one step closer to our goal of eliminating substandard housing.”
ASK Group Founder and Chairman Asit Koticha said: “The ASK Group is delighted to be able to help Habitat for Humanity put the MicroBuild India Fund into operation. It is an innovative program that fills a gap in the microfinance marketplace that desperately needed to be filled. Thousands of people in the future will benefit from the investment Habitat for Humanity is making now.”
The first MicroBuild India Fund loans are expected to be issued in July this year. An estimated fifteen microfinance institutions in southern India have expressed an interest in being involved with the new program. Initially, the MicroBuild India Fund will focus on the states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. However, Habitat for Humanity hopes to expand to cover more states before becoming a national offer.
The average MicroBuild India Fund-backed loan amount is expected to be about INR45,000 or US$1,000 and will be available to anyone who is an existing client of a partner microfinance institution and has maintained a good track record with them.
Habitat for Humanity International has committed to investing US$3.85 million in the MicroBuild India Fund and the ASK Group is investing US$1.89 million, both over a three year period.