Lessons from 11 Partnerships of Habitat for Humanity
This compendium of the four articles linked below is based on case studies from 11 microfinance institution partners of Habitat for Humanity and their experiences with housing microfinance. This document sums up the lessons that the Center has learned through these partnerships, in four categories: 1. Opportunities and Constraints for Housing Microfinance; 2. Housing Support Services: Do They Add Value to Housing Microfinance? 3. Housing Microfinance Product Development: Key Factors for Success; and 4. Taking Housing Microfinance Products to Scale: Institutional Commitment and Capacity.
Opportunities and Constraints for Housing Microfinance(.pdf)
When microfinance practitioners consider entering housing markets, they will likely be asking: What contextual factors particularly favor robust, high-performing housing microfinance portfolios? What factors constrain successful housing microfinance? Can steps be taken to mitigate these? The following article attempts to address these questions, using insights gained from studying a variety of microfinance institutions around the world that developed housing microfinance products in partnership with Habitat for Humanity.
Housing Support Services: Do They Add Value to Housing Microfinance?(.pdf)
This article summarizes insights from nine microfinance institutions from around the world that have partnered with Habitat for Humanity to provide housing microfinance coupled with some form of housing support service. Their initial experiences point to emerging lessons and suggest priorities for future research in the provision of nonfinancial services accompanying housing microfinance.
Housing Microfinance Product Development: Key Factors for Success(.pdf)
This article analyzes the experiences of 10 microfinance institutions from around the world that partnered with Habitat for Humanity to develop housing microfinance products. These cases were selected to represent a diverse range of approaches to housing microfinance within a variety of contexts. They serve as a basis for studying what processes were undertaken, the impact these had on product performance, and the lessons and key factors of success.
Taking Housing Microfinance Products to Scale: Institutional Commitment and Capacity(.pdf)
The following report sheds light on contemporary issues related to taking housing microfinance to scale and is based on an analysis of recent case studies written of 10 different microfinance institutions around the world that partnered with Habitat for Humanity in the development of housing microfinance products coupled with housing support services. These cases were selected to represent a diverse range of approaches to housing microfinance where the product development process had been completed and the institutions were either looking to scale up their housing microfinance products or had already begun that process.
Short interview with Habitat for Humanity International’s Asia-Pacific Director of Market Development and Housing Finance
The Center’s Patrick McAllister is featured in this highlight video from the European Microfinance Week 2013. His is the first interview segment in the video. The summit is the annual event of the European Microfinance Platform, where 378 participants from 59 countries gathered in Luxembourg November 12-14 to discuss microfinance’s hottest issues and important trends in the sector.
Habitat’s Housing Microfinance Work with HKL in Cambodia
This short article from Microfinance Focus discusses the results of a housing microfinance pilot that Cambodian microfinance institution Hattha Kaksekar Limited just completed. HKL has recently moved into the housing space with technical assistance from Habitat for Humanity.


How Can Microfinance for Housing, Land, and Infrastructure Catalyze Slum Improvements and New Settlements? [pdf]

This paper, co-written by the Center’s Patrick Kelley, discusses slums in large cities in the developing world and the critical role that housing microfinance is playing in improving housing conditions for many of the slum’s marginalized households.

Removing Road Blocks to Housing Finance: New Findings from Latin America

Habitat for Humanity’s Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance undertook a study to determine the status of housing microfinance in Latin America.  The purpose of the study was to identify key factors facilitating or restricting its growth. A summary of the findings were published on the Center for Financial Inclusion’s website. 

Microfinance for Housing in Africa’s Cities

Housing microfinance (HMF), although young and small in scope as compared to traditional microfinance services, is already demonstrating that its ability to adjust to unique financial capabilities and client cash flows make it a good fit for many Africans’ housing financing needs.  Whether it is used for incremental house construction, renovation, land purchase, or site improvement, HMF services are on the rise.

The Role of Property and Shelter in Financial Inclusion

Patrick Kelley, Habitat for Humanity International’s Director of International Housing Finance, talks about how many of the actors working to help households acquire and expand their property and shelter assets may not be clothed in the typical financial inclusion fashion. But, in the spirit of expanding the financial inclusion conversation, they have much to contribute.

Getting to Scale in Housing Microfinance

Read this joint study conducted by Accion and Habitat for Humanity International that covered ten of Accion’s partners in Latin America, representing more than 90 percent of the Accion Network’s housing portfolio. The objective of this research was to learn about the key success factors as well as challenges and barriers for reaching scale in housing.

Microfinance to Mitigate Substandard Housing

The Center’s Patrick McAllister writes for the Center for Financial Inclusion.  The article presents evidence that supports the claims that housing microfinance is good business for financial institutions and is an effective method for empowering the poor to incrementally improve their housing conditions.


Capitalizing Housing for the Poor: Findings from Five Focus Countries [pdf]

This report seeks to inform the impact investment community, as well as the microfinance sector at large, about the opportunities and barriers for investment in the growth of housing microfinance.  This paper is the result of both desk-based research and in-country investigations facilitated by Habitat for Humanity International on the housing finance “situation gap.”  The study presents country-level trends in housing microfinance and the factors that may enable increased scale, impact and social investment.

Asia’s Poor Should be Helped to Save for a Better Home

Habitat’s Asia/Pacific Housing Finance director, Patrick McAllister, authored this op-ed for the South China Morning Post.  According to McAllister, smart regulations, new technology and incentives are some of the ways to help low-income families save for a better home.