Our microfinance projects
Europe, Middle East and Africa
Bosnia: Microcredit Foundation LOK and DIGH
This is a partnership between Habitat in Europe and Central Asia, a global nonprofit organization fighting poverty housing, and the in Bosnia and Herzegovina. LOK will provide small housing loans to low income families. LOK receives loan capital from , while Habitat offers technical assistance in market research, product development,and monitoring and evaluation. Habitat trains LOK officers and construction managers in housing microfinance and construction technical assistance to enable them to evaluate the needed home interventions and advise on the best construction solutions.
This pilot program focuses on assisting the Roma population in Macedonia, and to date more than 150 loans have been disbursed. Loans are for roof reconstruction, adding toilets and running water, room additions, heating systems, insulation and replacing doors and windows. 20 percent of the loans were used for installing toilets and upgrading water systems. For borrowers, Habitat created educational materials to support self-building.
Macedonia: Mozhnosti Savings House
This is Habitat’s longest-running housing microfinance partnership in the region. Loans are offered to low-income families throughout the country in rural as well as urban areas. Households are provided with access to affordable funds for repairs, reconstructions and renovations of substandard housing. Habitat provides guidance and monitoring during the construction. To date, more than 450 loans have been disbursed.
Hungary: Erste Bank and DIGH
This is a new partnership project between Habitat Hungary, DIGH and Erste Bank. The aim of the project is to offer home improvement loans to low-income families who are not eligible for other housing loan products offered by banks. Households will be provided with access to affordable funds for repairs and renovations of substandard housing. Habitat will provide construction technical advice and monitoring, along with financial education for families.
The project offers home improvement loans that focus on smaller, energy-efficient improvements such as wall insulations, window replacements and roof repairs. Habitat provided technical capacity development to Mikrofond by conducting training of their loan officers to enable them to evaluate and advise on the repair need in the homes. More than 200 loans have been disbursed in the first year. The plan is to double this number for this year by expanding in loans for apartment block renovations.
This pilot program offered five-year loans for families to complete unfinished houses and renovate flats. Average loans were about $4,500. For the borrowers, Habitat Kyrgyzstan provided construction technical assistance and support in materials purchasing, contractor selection and skills training. Applying the lessons learned from the pilot program and the results of market research, Habitat Kyrgyzstan plans to scale existing projects to provide affordable loans to condominium associations that have partnerships with financial institutions and those that are incorporating innovative guarantee mechanisms and savings.
The aim of the project is to provide loans to condominium associations for improvement of deteriorating common areas and to create self-sustainable associations that will continue maintenance of the condominiums. To date, nearly 2,000 families—10,000 individuals— have benefited from this project
Ukraine: HOPE Ukraine
This joint project focuses on the Transcarpathian region of Ukraine and was launched in Uzgorod. HOPE Ukraine uses loan capital from Habitat to finance a loan fund designated for housing improvements. Habitat provided technical capacity development to HOPE Ukraine by consulting on the hiring and training of a construction specialist. In its pilot phase, HOPE Ukraine served more than 200 clients and expanded the project, contributing its own funds to Lviv and Ivano Frankivsk provinces.
This project has been active since 2006 and focuses on the Roma population in Slovakia. More than 400 loans have been disbursed, averaging $2,000. Habitat established a housing fund to support EPT in developing a pilot project of repair and renovation loans and helped establish and manage lending activities in cooperation with local government. In addition to the loans, Habitat trained ETP to provide financial education to its clients.
Tajikistan: First Microfinance Bank
This pilot project provided loans of up to $5,000 to repair and renovate homes that were hurting the quality of life of the families residing there. In this program, the bank provided loans to eligible families while Habitat offered construction oversight and assistance such as materials purchasing and contractor selection. In addition to this pilot project, Habitat established a partnership with the bank for developing home improvement loans for low-income rural clients, linking to an affordable and sustainable remittance service in a project supported by IFAD. In this project, Habitat Tajikistan provides construction technical assistance and financial education to final beneficiaries.
Armenia: First Mortgage Company
The project offers low-income families housing renovation, reconstruction and completion loans together with construction technical assistance in Armavir region in Armenia. Sixty-one loans have been disbursed.