MICROCAPITAL BRIEF: Microfinance Project for Low-Income Housing Launched in Tanzania By The Women Advancement Trust (WAT) – Human Settlements Trust, The Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) and Rooftops Canada

The Women Advancement Trust (WAT) – Human Settlements Trust, a non-governmental organization based in Tanzania, which promotes the advancement of women through education and training; the Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT), a consortium of development partners from Canada, Denmark, the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands; and Rooftops Canada, a nonprofit organization which provides technical expertise and leadership in low-cost housing and human settlements development, have joined together to launch a new housing microfinance program, which will give low-income families in the informal settlement areas around Dar es Salaaam access to interest-free loans. Blasi Seleki, the Assistant Director of Housing in Tanzania, said the three-year project will positively impact the lives of those targeted, especially considering the very low quality of many houses in the city. The executive director of WAT-Human Settlements Trust, Tabitha Siwale, says the program aims to give loans to more than 750 low-income earners. So far, 39 people have applied for loans to improve, build or extend their homes. Clients get between TSH 400,000 (USD 275) and TSH 1 million (USD 685) to complete their housing projects. An exact amount has not been pledged for the program, but rather will depend on program demand [1].

By Conner Brannen, Research Assistant

About Women Advancement Trust (WAT) – Human Settlements Trust:

The Women Advancement Trust (WAT) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1989 in Tanzania. The main objective of the organization is to promote the advancement of women through education and training. The focus of the Human Settlements Trust, a program within WAT, is to enable poor women and men improve their living environment by the year 2015. Financial information on WAT-Human Settlements Trust is unavailable.

About Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT):

The Financial Sector Deepening Trust (FSDT) was established to unite the efforts of the five governments (Canada, Denmark, UK, Sweden and Netherlands) to support national efforts to strengthen the financial sector in Tanzania. It is a consortium of five development partners: the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the Royal Netherlands Embassy. It was registered on July 1, 2004, and officially launched in October 2005.

FSDT seeks to help smaller financial firms, especially microfinance institutions and small banks, develop to the point where they are sustainable, credible and creditworthy partners for commercial banks and larger financial institutions. Additionally, FSDT works to build capacity in service providers such as training institutions, accounting and auditing firms and the legal profession, as well as in the Bank of Tanzania and potentially other financial regulators. FSDT also supports development of the policy, legal and regulatory frameworks relating to the financial sector as a whole. Financial information on FSDT is unavailable.

About Rooftops Canada:

Founded in 1984, Rooftops Canada provides technical expertise and leadership in low-cost housing and human settlements development around the world. Rooftops Canada was originally founded as the international development program of the Co-op Housing Federation of Canada. It now also works on behalf of the la Confederation quebecoise des cooperatives d΄habitation; the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association; and the Ontario, New Brunswick and British Columbia Non-Profit Housing Associations. In 2008, Rooftops Canada reported USD 1,554,120 in total revenues and USD 1,559,872 in total expenses.

Sources and Additional Resources:

[1] The Citizen: “Project for low income houses,” by Hellen Nachilongo, May 31, 2010: http://thecitizen.co.tz/news/4-national-news/2158-project-for-low-income-houses-on

[2] MicroCapital Universe Profile: Women Advancement Trust (WAT) ? Human Settlements Trust: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Women+Advancement+Trust+%28WAT%29+?+Human+Settlements+Trust

[3] MicroCapital Universe Profile: Financial Sector Deepening Trust Fund (FSDT): http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Financial+Sector+Deepening+Trust+Fund+%28FSDT%29

[4] MicroCapital Universe Profile: Rooftops Canada: http://www.microcapital.org/microfinanceuniverse/tiki-index.php?page=Rooftops+Canada

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