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Inclusive housing markets

In the Philippines, thousands of families are using incremental loans through a Habitat partner to improve their homes.In the Philippines, thousands of families are using incremental loans through a Habitat partner to improve their homes.

Since 1976, Habitat for Humanity has built or repaired more than 1 million homes, serving 6.8 million people worldwide. However, this effort alone won’t keep pace with the growing need of the 1.6 billion people across the globe lacking adequate, decent shelter.

With this in mind, Habitat’s market development and housing finance programs are pursuing new strategies to assist many more families in need.

Rather than building homes and working directly with families, Habitat’s market development programs work with local businesses, entrepreneurs and government agencies to introduce and grow products, services and financing that meets the housing needs of low-income people.

Acting as a market facilitator, Habitat can have a far greater impact on poverty housing than it can by working solely as a direct service provider building houses. By improving access to affordable housing products and services for low-income families who mostly build their homes in stages, market development stays true to Habitat's original principles of self-help and sustainability.

Market development in action

Habitat's market development programs focus on three areas to ensure more effective housing market solutions:

  • Facilitating inclusive markets
    Habitat brings key partners together to adapt and transform housing markets, improving opportunities for low-income people to obtain quality products and services that were previously out of reach. To accomplish this, the Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance works to facilitate market-based solutions to address gaps in housing value chains through advisory services, research and knowledge development and peer exchange among partners.
    Center for Innovation in Shelter and Finance » 
  • Capital markets
    Habitat works to catalyze the flow of investment capital to the affordable housing market. The MicroBuild and MicroBuild India funds are keynote efforts aimed at expanding housing microfinance, but all fronts are explored to unlock investment capital to further expand access to improved housing for low-income people.
    MicroBuild Fund »
  • Social enterprise
    Construction advice and access to information and quality materials and products are often required to fill gaps in housing markets. Local Habitat offices and other businesses endeavor to see these essential market services and products offered on a financially sustainable basis. As an example, Habitat has invested in and advised Suyo, a social business in Colombia that provides property rights formalization services to low-income households.
    Suyo »

Additional resources

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