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Habitat for Humanity calls for support for poor in constructing house

Habitat for Humanity that works for housing solutions for economically weaker section, has called for handholding of poor in the form of Housing Support Services (HSS) to ensure that families not only start construction but also complete construction of the house.

“The flipside is we have a lot of unfinished houses because of various reasons. How do we address this 90% demand for housing coming from the LIG or EWS segment,” said Rajan Samuel, Managing Director, Habitat for Humanity India.

The organisation recently hosted India Housing Forum where industry leaders, innovators, policy experts and leading government stakeholders opined at the India that focused housing interventions and policy measures are key to accelerate the pace of bringing low-income communities within the socioeconomic mainstream.

“Now more than ever, all the stakeholders have to come together. When you talk of housing, you need to involve all the key stakeholders including the government at the central and state level down to local bodies at the panchayat level,” said Samuel.

Samuel said that sustainable sheltering solutions will create a safety net and asset for poor populations at the bottom of the pyramid.
“The involvement of private sector also assumes importance. If the poor person has to build a house, he/she needs land, finance, technology, community mobilization, supply chain spanning the whole gamut around housing,” he said.
provides for a subsidy for housing which normally goes up to Rs2 lakhs. Housing and sanitation is a state subject.

“When we look at PMAY, in most cases we cannot complete houses in Rs 2 lakh. Therefore financing becomes critical in ensuring affordable housing access for poor populations,” he added.

Habitat for Humanity said that it could be a combination of Rs 2 lakh from the state governments, another 1 lakh from CSR funds of private entities.

The second combination could be Rs 2 lakh grant from PMAY, another Rs 1-2 lakh from a housing Finance Company (HFC) or a lending institution in order to complete the house.

The organisation is actively engaged with the Odisha government who have rolled out the JAGA Mission, the world’s largest slum land settlement program. They have provided land to 2 lakh urban families living in slums.

“We help poor families through multiple mechanisms. We work with the private sector to strengthen the supply chains, enable the flow of capital towards low-income families. We also work on promoting innovations,” said Anoop Nambiar – Country Director (India), Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, Habitat for Humanity.

It has has invested in 3 startups in India. One is ModRoof which is a roofing company in Ahmedabad, another is ECOSTP Technologies in Bengaluru which converts sewage into usable water and Tvasta which is based in Chennai.

“We have made a combined investment of USD 1 million across the 3 companies,” Nambiar said.

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