Microfinance is any financial service product that:
- Is not a traditional mortgage.
- Aspires to cover costs of service delivery.
- May be provided by a bank, non-bank financial institution, cooperative, non-government organization or other legal-regulated entities.
Habitat’s role in microfinance institution partnerships:
- Program design assistance: Assists in establishing a housing loan product.
- Technical assistance: Assists in construction services. Helps link families or clients financed by a microfinance institute to government land, infrastructure or subsidy provided by a Habitat national program.
- Direct investing: Transfers grants (for research) or loans (for product rollout) to microfinance institutes.
- Investment brokering: Involved in negotiations that encourage public and private investment in microfinance institutes to expand housing finance.
- Credit service outsourcing: Extends loans that are managed by microfinance institutes to serve Habitat partner families, clients and beneficiaries.
Microfinance institutions partnerships:
For joint research and pilot projects focused on scaling housing microfinance in Latin America and Caribbean.
In partnership with their local affiliate in Macedonia and the Philippines, and through a joint project aimed at AIDS orphans in three African countries.
With emerging partnerships in Afghanistan and Uganda.
Through their local Vision Finance affiliates in Peru.
Government housing agency partnerships:
- Habitat organizations in Thailand, Brazil, the Philippines, Vietnam, Chile, Costa Rica and South Africa are partnering with government housing agencies.
- These partnerships target subsidies and construction technical assistance toward low-income housing solutions.
SEEP Network member:
- In addition to programmatic collaboration, the SEEP Network  seeks to influence the microfinance industry so that housing becomes a standard loan product among microfinance institutions.
- Habitat documents research and case studies, disseminates best practices and stimulates investment in housing finance for the poor.