Habitat for Humanity receives award for excellence in development finance
MANILA (July 8, 2016) – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the U.S. government’s development finance institution, recognized Habitat for Humanity’s MicroBuild Fund with the Access to Finance award during the 2016 OPIC Impact Awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. Habitat’s MicroBuild is an impact investment fund that helps families in developing countries obtain small loans to build or improve their homes incrementally.
The OPIC Impact Awards, now in its third year, recognizes the work its partners are doing to advance development in emerging markets around the world.
“We are pleased to receive this recognition for our work,” said Mike Carscaddon, Habitat for Humanity International’s executive vice president of administration and chief financial officer. “Improving housing market systems that enable families to achieve affordable shelter is critical to realizing our vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Thanks to our partners and supporters, Habitat’s MicroBuild Fund provides housing services, products and financing that will empower low-income households around the world to improve their shelter more effectively and efficiently.”
In many countries, home construction is completed incrementally as people do not have access to traditional housing options, such as mortgage products or developer-built housing. Habitat’s MicroBuild Fund lends to microfinance institutions, which in turn provides small loans to families to build safe, decent and durable homes as their finances allow.
“OPIC’s 2016 Impact Award winners exemplify the transformative impact that the U.S. private sector can have in the developing world,” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC’s president and CEO. “We are honored to present Habitat for Humanity’s MicroBuild with the Access to Finance award for its extensive role in providing funding and technical assistance for housing improvements worldwide. MicroBuild serves as a model in increasing the availability of financial services to underserved populations, and OPIC is proud to have supported this institution in bringing opportunities to low-income families in need of housing.”
With 50 million invested and another phase of 50 million of capital established, the MicroBuild Fund has expanded to provide access to better housing finance for more than 250,000 people in 20 countries. In the Asia-Pacific region the fund has invested in Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka, with the possibility of more countries being added in the future. Habitat’s MicroBuild investments have also attracted over 71 million of other capital to low-income housing products.
Habitat’s effort to increase access to adequate shelter for families through housing microfinance is made possible by investments from OPIC and equity partners Omidyar Network, the MetLife Foundation and Triple Jump, which also serves as the fund’s manager. Habitat has also received important grant support from the Hilti Foundation and the Stanard Family Foundation.
Global law firm Morgan Lewis and a team of lawyers and students at the International Transactions Clinic at the University of Michigan School of Law provided Habitat pro bono legal counsel in MicroBuild closings.