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Housing Implementation Grant Program Learning Network Image

Housing Implementation Grant Program Learning Network

Housing Implementation Grant Program Learning Network

In 2009, USAID awarded three new Implementation Grant Programs (IGPs) to promote housing microfinance for poor households. As a part of the program, the grantees tested different models of financing and assisting housing improvements and micro-mortgages. The objective of these IGPs was to allow grantees to develop and implement viable business models and roll out products to a greater number of clients, and to document and share their learning with the program and the industry. Such approaches aim to support improved standards of living as well as asset creation for poor households, while being commercially viable for microfinance institutions.

The three grantees were:

    1. Opportunity International - Ghana;
    2. Habitat for Humanity - India, and;
    3. Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance - Afghanistan

Housing IGP Grantees

Learning Network

The Housing IGP Learning Network, facilitated by SEEP, ensured high quality outcomes with respect to the learning processes of the grantees, along with the creation of highly relevant learning products for wide-scale dissemination.  The learning network advanced the learning agenda for the Housing MF IGP network and the industry at large.  SEEP provided direct learning support to the three IGP grantees to derive knowledge from their project implementation experiences.

The IGP methodology has always included a strong peer learning component.  Over the course of the project, the three IGP grantees identified common areas for learning, collaboration, and research.  The overarching research question that the partners sought out to explore was “What are the key components that have to be in place in order to construct a viable housing microfinance business model?”.   

The issue of reaching scale with demand-driven housing microfinance (HMF) products and housing support services, and appropriately and sustainably priced services, was highlighted as one of the most compelling issues requiring collaborative action research as a part of the IGP learning activities. Costing and pricing of HMF and Housing Support Services (HSS) products and services, linked to the sustainability and replicability of the models being tested by the three grantees, was identified as a key pertinent issue for the greater microfinance industry.

Under the umbrella of these broader issues, the IGP partners, with the support of SEEP and MEDA, articulated a learning agenda derived from their accumulated experience and topics of common interest and concern.  This  included:

  • Costing and Pricing of Products and Services: How much does it actually cost to provide HMF and HSS products and services and how much should clients pay?
  • Secure Tenure and provision of housing solutions: What is the affect of insecure tenure on a) undertaking home improvements and b) paying for them?
  • Quality Assurance: Is quality assurance of housing intervention important and who is going to do it?
  • Impact of the Interventions: At what point do home improvements significantly impact the quality of life for the homeowners? What indicators can we use?

Over the course of this IGP, the grantees documented the issue of the cost of these products and what kind of pricing structures are necessary to affordably scale up these offerings. Documentation of the ongoing action research resulted in highly informative case studies of each of the initiatives (Ghana, India, and Afghanistan) and will lead to the creation of tools that are used by others to better understand the costs of provision of HMF and HSS as well as pricing models that would be scalable. 


 

The learning network was facilitated by SEEP with support from MEDA.

With questions, please contact Nisha Singh at singh@seepnetwork.org

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