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Does Low-Income Housing Finance Help the Poor?

Does Low-Income Housing Finance Help the Poor?

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Urban slums are a global issue. If nothing is done, the number of people eking out a living in slums will reach some 900 million by 2020, up from 820 million today, according to an estimate by the UN Habitat. These problems are particularly urgent in Asia, with more than 500 million slum dwellers. To respond to this urban housing problem, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided about $1.65 billion in loans and grants over the past decade to help the governments in the region.

The impact evaluation looks at low-income housing finance project in Sri Lanka. It assessed the socioeconomic impact of the project’s housing loans on household welfare change, based on six sets of household-level outcome indicators: (i) housing quality, (ii) household income and expenditure, (iii) household completeness, (iv) labor force participation, (v) education of schoolage children, and (vi) health indicators.
Urban slums are a global issue. If nothing is done, the number of people eking out a living in slums will reach some 900 million by 2020, up from 820 million today, according to an estimate by the UN Habitat. These problems are particularly urgent in Asia, with more than 500 million slum dwellers. To respond to this urban housing problem, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has provided about $1.65 billion in loans and grants over the past decade to help the governments in the region.

The impact evaluation looks at low-income housing finance project in Sri Lanka. It assessed the socioeconomic impact of the project’s housing loans on household welfare change, based on six sets of household-level outcome indicators: (i) housing quality, (ii) household income and expenditure, (iii) household completeness, (iv) labor force participation, (v) education of schoolage children, and (vi) health indicators.

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04/04/2013

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Careul poverty analysis and  proper selection criteria, aswell as more pro-poor loan procedures and exibility in the loan size, term, and use would enhance theinclusiveness and benefcial impacts o the project.
U
rban slums are a global issue. I nothing is done, the number o peopleeking out a living in slums will reach some 900 million by 2020, up rom820 million today, according to an estimate by the UN Habitat. Theseproblems are particularly urgent in Asia, with more than 500 million slumdwellers. To respond to this urban housing problem, the Asian DevelopmentBank (ADB) has provided about $1.65 billion in loans and grants over the pastdecade to help the governments in the region. The impact evaluation looks at low-income housing nance project in SriLanka. It assessed the socioeconomic impact o the project’s housing loanson household welare change, based on six sets o household-level outcomeindicators: (i) housing quality, (ii) household income and expenditure, (iii)household completeness, (iv) labor orce participation, (v) education o school-age children, and (vi) health indicators.
The Project
 The project was started in 1998 andcompleted in 2005. It cost $103 million,o which about $27 million was used orhousing nance. The housing nance component hadthree objectives: (i) to increase access o low-income households to market-basedhousing nance through the ormal sector;(ii) to acilitate improvements in housingconditions and quality o lie; and (iii) topromote ormal banking sector interestin serving the low-income sector o thehousing market. The project required thatonly households with monthly incomes below the 55th percentile o Sri Lanka’sincome distribution be eligible to borrow. Housing loans were providedthrough local banks and nancial institutions. At completion, the projectprovided 28,378 housing loans.
Key Findings
 The study ound that only about 1% o project beneciaries were rom thelowest 10% income group, while about 60% were near the middle income level,and about 25% were at the middle income range. The act that the project setloan eligibility or people with household incomes below the 55th incomepercentile, and that participating credit institutions applied conventional loan
Does Low-Income HousingFinance Help the Poor?
Learning Curves
March 2012
 
Evaluation
Independent
 The project aimed to increase the access o low-income households to housing fnance. Photo(above) shows a newly-built house o a benefciary.Photo by Binh Nguyen.
 Team Leader: Binh NguyenEmail: evaluation@adb.org
Contact Us
Independent Evaluation DepartmentAsian Development Bank 6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong City1550 Metro Manila, Philippines Tel +63 2 632 4100Fax +63 2 636 2161Email: evaluation@adb.orgwww.adb.org/evaluation
Learning Curves 
is a two-page quick reerence to provide ndings andrecommendations rom evaluations to abroader range o clients.

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