2nd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum features MABS Housing Microfinance

The 2nd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum held on September 9 featured MABS’ Housing Microfinance Initiative presented by MABS Deputy Chief of Party Meliza H. Agabin. The forum was organized by Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that works to eliminate poverty housing and make adequate housing a matter of conscience and action. It aims to look into alternative models and approaches to provide urban housing solutions through various institutions such as government authorities, businesses and social organizations. About 400 participants from the Asia-Pacific region attended the forum.
Ms. Agabin shared the experiences of MABS participating banks in housing microfinance, emphasizing market research as key for determining demand and developing appropriate loan products. The presentation also underscored the importance of small housing loans to households dependent on their micro business income in undertaking incremental housing repairs and improvements.
Since July 2008, MABS has been working with several rural banks to conduct market research, develop, pilot, and rollout various housing microfinance products to their existing as well as new clients. The MABS’ housing microfinance follows the standard MABS Approach principles in ensuring that loans are based on cashflow.  Housing microfinance loans are incremental loans that start out small and build over time as the client builds a reputation with the bank.  All these loans are regularly amortized and are usually not secured with hard collateral. Housing microfinance loans are designed for low-income clients and are used to finance various home repair/improvement/construction needs. Since the loans are built up and provided incrementally over time, clients avoid taking on too much debt burden all at once.

The 2nd Asia-Pacific Housing Forum held on September 9 featured MABS’ Housing Microfinance Initiative presented by MABS Deputy Chief of Party Meliza H. Agabin. The forum was organized by Habitat for Humanity, a nonprofit, Christian housing ministry that works to eliminate poverty housing and make adequate housing a matter of conscience and action. It aims to look into alternative models and approaches to provide urban housing solutions through various institutions such as government authorities, businesses and social organizations. About 400 participants from the Asia-Pacific region attended the forum.

Ms. Agabin shared the experiences of MABS participating banks in housing microfinance, emphasizing market research as key for determining demand and developing appropriate loan products. The presentation also underscored the importance of small housing loans to households dependent on their micro business income in undertaking incremental housing repairs and improvements.

Since July 2008, MABS has been working with several rural banks to conduct market research, develop, pilot, and rollout various housing microfinance products to their existing as well as new clients. The MABS’ housing microfinance follows the standard MABS Approach principles in ensuring that loans are based on cashflow.  Housing microfinance loans are incremental loans that start out small and build over time as the client builds a reputation with the bank.  All these loans are regularly amortized and are usually not secured with hard collateral. Housing microfinance loans are designed for low-income clients and are used to finance various home repair, improvement or construction needs. Since the loans are built up and provided incrementally over time, clients avoid taking on too much debt burden all at once.

MABS visits its participating banks’ clients and continues to monitor and improve its housing microfinance initiative for products that bet serve clients’ needs. One of these clients is Virgilia, who has been Cantilan Bank’s client for 5 years. She is a housing MF client of the bank with a PhP 50,000 loan for the completion of her house and small sari-sari store.

MABS visits its participating banks’ clients and continues to monitor and improve its housing microfinance initiative for products that bet serve clients’ needs. One of these clients is Virgilia, who has been Cantilan Bank’s client for 5 years. She is a housing MF client of the bank with a PhP 50,000 loan for the completion of her house and small sari-sari store.