Building the Business Case for Housing Microfinance: Sub-Saharan Africa

Case study
Date Published: 
Mar 2018
Author: 
Christy Stickney & Jyoti Patel

Six-year study with 47,000 households demonstrating the win-win model of housing microfinance

This business case study builds on a project carried out over six years in Kenya and Uganda called “Building Assets Unlocking Access.” The project was a partnership between Habitat’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter and the Mastercard Foundation, reaching over 47,000 households and mobilizing more than USD 43 million in capital to benefit over 237,000 individuals.

The case study maintains that housing microfinance, small non-mortgage backed loans for short terms, can become a mainstream offering in the market to address growing housing needs in the region, incremental building patterns, and the land tenure realities of low-income households. It also argues, through the lenses of these two institutions in different geographies, that success and profitability of a housing microfinance product relies on a number of factors: connection with the financial service provider’s mission, good marketing, a clear pricing structure, understanding of land tenure realities, an opportunity to attract new clients, and secure long-term capital to fund the expansion of such portfolios.

Type: 
Case study
Countries: 
Kenya, Uganda