Habitat for Humanity International, a nonprofit Christian mission dedicated to building homes for poor people globally, and Ask Group, a financial services group that was established in India in 1983, recently launched the MicroBuild India Fund to help low-income individuals access financing for home improvement activities. Habitat for Humanity will invest USD 3.85 million in the fund while Ask Group will invest USD 1.89 million over a three-year period. The MicroBuild Fund will lend to local microfinance institutions (MFIs) who will in turn, offer affordable home-improvement loans to their clients. The average loan size to a single individual is expected to be approximately INR 45,000 (USD 1,000). Initially, the MicroBuild India Fund will target the southern states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, with plans to cover more states in the future. Reportedly, fifteen MFIs have expressed an interest in being involved in the program.
By Julie Moksim, Research Associate
About Habitat for Humanity International: Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry whose mission is to provide poor people with clean, safe and affordable places to live. Since its inception in 1976, Habitat for Humanity has engaged the services of homeowners and volunteers to build houses under the supervision of trained builders. While in the United States the organization offers no-interest mortgage loans directly to low-income families, outside of the United States it partners with microfinance institutions to distribute and service loans. Habitat for Humanity operates in all fifty US states and all continents of the world. As of June 30, 2010, Habitat for Humanity reported total net assets of USD 274 million.
About Ask Group: Ask Group is a financial services group that was established in India in 1983. Ask Group offers investment advice and other portfolio management services. The holding company of the group is Ask Investment Holdings and its three subsidiaries are Ask Investment Managers, Ask Wealth Advisors and Ask Property Investment Advisors. Financial information for Ask Group is not available.
Sources and Additional Resources:
Premium Presse: “Habitat for Humanity Partners with Ask Group to Launch MicroBuild India Fund”, March 28, 2011, http://www.premiumpresse.de/habitat-for-humanity-partners-with-ask-group…
MicroCapital.org Brief, March 22, 2011: Micro Housing Finance Corporation (MHFC) of India Achieves $5.5m in Loan Sanctions, https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-micro-housing-finance-cor…
MicroCapital.org Brief, March 21, 2011: Swarna Pragati Housing Microfinance Launches Micro-Mortgage Product in Maharashtra, India, https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-brief-swarna-pragati-housing-mi…
MicroCapital.org Story, June 9, 2009: Habitat for Humanity International Plans to Establish a USD 70 Million Microfinance Fund to Assist Low-Income Families and Improve Housing Globally, https://www.microcapital.org/microcapital-story-habitat-for-humanity-international-plans-to-establish-a-usd-70-million-microfinance-fund-to-assist-low-income-families-and-improve-housing-globally/
MicroCapital’s Microfinance Universe Profile: Habitat for Humanity International
MicroCapital’s Microfinance Universe Profile: Ask Group
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