DFID set to foray into the sector
Apr 10, 2013
Source : The Hindu

Department for International Development (DFID), UK’s funding agency, is all set to foray into affordable housing sector with funding commitment of Rs. 400 crore in the country.

“We are finalising collaboration with National Housing Bank for affordable housing sector,” Sam Sharpe, country-head of DFID, told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop ‘affordable urban housing in Odisha’ here on Tuesday.

DFID’s collaboration with NHB will cover eight States such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatishgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Bihar, West Bengal, and Rajasthan.

“The collaboration is worth Rs. 400 crore. Of the total funding, 80 per cent will be equity finance, while 20 per cent fund will be devoted for technical assistance,” Mr. Sharpe said.

When asked to elaborate the collaboration, the DFID country-head said, “the collaboration is still being finalised. Currently we are in process of understanding the policies of different States.”

Terming it as a new development, Mr. Sharpe said, “we have been involved in development sector including health, education, water and slum improvement. But affordable housing is a sector we are now venturing into.”

Experts and bankers said there was a huge scope in affordable housing sector in the country as more than 60 per cent of population in urban sector cannot afford to buy house at the prevailing market price.

“Individual houses and apartments are coming up in premium segment in large numbers. It has somehow become stagnant in many cities including Bhubaneswar. Opportunity in affordable housing sector is immense,” said D. S. Tripathi, national joint secretary of CREDAI, a developers’ body.

Pointing out that the housing stock in affordable housing sector was low, Mr. Tripathi said any development in the sector would uplift the mood and it would prove to be win-win situation for both government as well as realtors.

“The government needs to bring in more clarity in policies such facilitating litigation free land and connectivity to projects,” he said.

Housing finance companies representatives were of the view that if projects were developed at reasonable price and reasonable quality, finance would not be a problem.

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