Xpress Money partnership announcement
Xpress Money Services Limited is entering a partnership with Habitat for Humanity International to help families improve their place to live and increase financial knowledge. Xpress Money contributes to Habitat’s efforts and supports the housing microfinance and financial literacy program for seven families.
The housing deficit in Kenya is around 2 million and continues to grow at a rate of about 150,000 units every year. There is a proliferation of informal settlements in urban areas with 60% of the population living in slums. Families live in overcrowded homes typically with only one room and no adequate ventilation or access to water and sanitation. In addition to limited access to land, insufficient income and lack of affordable housing finance affecting low-income population are other limiting factors for low income families to improve their housing conditions. Housing for low income and irregular wage earners is a major social and developmental problem in Kenya. Habitat for Humanity Kenya has helped over 10,000 families in 250 communities across 9 regions with access to affordable housing and with construction of new homes.
The partnership with Xpress Money aims to improve living conditions of low-income families in Kenya by providing durable, decent and affordable housing solutions to low income earners in both urban and rural areas. This will be done through provision of small incremental housing loans enabling families to re-build gradually step-by-step. Upon successful repayment the family will be entitled for another home improvement micro-loan. The model fully embraces the concept of “incremental housing” whereby low-income housing is not a product but a process in which a family builds a house in stages over a period of time. This makes it possible for a family to realistically plan for resources and borrow smaller amounts that could be easily paid back in shorter time periods.
At the same time the project brings the community together by organizing a small self-help group of neighbors with housing needs. These groups co-guarantee each other, help each other in difficult months and accept group members liability in the event of default. While providing capital for the home improvements, the groups are motivated to mobilize savings and plan for their future.
Efficient money management means meeting daily needs, as well as coping with emergencies or unexpected opportunities that arise. The financial education workshop offers participants basic, fundamental tools about careful money management. It helps them to prioritize expenses, create a family budget, develop good credit ratings, create a savings plan for home improvements, and even how to organize remittances received from family members living abroad.
About Xpress Money Services Ltd.
Xpress Money is an international global provider of instant money transfers present across 170,000 agent locations in 150 countries around the world. Working with some of the largest banks and non-banking financial companies, Xpress Money has been able to establish one of the largest remittance networks in the industry
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a path out of poverty, since 1976 Habitat has helped more than 5 million people through home construction, rehabilitation and repairs and by increasing access to improved shelter through products and services. Habitat supports families who have seen their homes lost or damaged by natural disasters.