Housing is one of the most significant expenses for any family, but particularly for those living in developing countries. People in poorer countries face high land prices, complicated or completely absent land titling processes, costly building materials, and low incomes or savings. To manage this situation, many turn to a process called incremental building whereby people build and expand their home over time as funding becomes available.

Some financial institutions offer housing finance loans to low-income people to help address this demand. Depending on the institution and product, loans may cover the renovation or expansion of an existing home, construction of a new home, or basic infrastructure improvements, such as electricity or sanitation. Mortgages to purchase land or a home are less common, but exist in some markets. As with other microloans, housing finance loans are typically not secured by collateral, and are largely based on either a group guarantee or other social capital.

What can you find in this Topic Hub?

Curated by FinDev editors, this Topic Hub offers you access to key resources contributed by organizations around the world who work on the topic of housing finance. Our latest blogs and publications on this topic are featured here (in the Resources Tab above), and you can find a collection of papers, case studies and guides to explore further. When there are upcoming webinars, events and recent news on this topic, they will be featured in the Topic Hub as well, so make sure to come back regularly for the latest on this topic. Finally, we’ve selected some key additional resources, which are listed on the right here, where you can learn even more about this topic.

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Using several classification techniques, the paper assesses the growth and performance of affordable housing finance companies across the country.


This study highlights the need for financial institutions to expand into housing finance across different income segments—particularly low and middle income households—and regions.

Case Study

This case study analyzes the Haiti Homeownership and Mortgage Expansion program’s methodology for designing its Pay-for-Results incentive structure, its results, and lessons learned.

News & Events

The latest news and upcoming events and training from the global financial inclusion community on this topic.