Insights_‘AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOUSING FINANCE’_Webinar 2 Mahila Housing Trust (MHT), on the occasion of its silver jubilee is organizing a Webinar Series, The City-Makers: Responsible Urbanization through Women’s Participation, with support from SELCO Foundation and Dasra.

Under the series, six webinars are scheduled between January and March 2021. The second Webinar on: ‘AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND HOUSING FINANCE’ was scheduled on February 03, 2021 from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM (IST) with support of SITARA- a SEWA initiative. Kindly visit this page for more details about the Webinar.

This webinar series is an integral part of the 25 years of celebration of Mahila Housing Trust that we have launched last year, which includes the publication of a book ‘The City Makers’ .

We focused on the following Key Question in the Webinar: What are the gaps in reaching sustainable water, addressing water scarcity and sanitation to the last mile and how can they be plugged?

­­­­­­The objectives of the Webinar were:

Sharing experiences of successful initiatives of Housing for All Mission.
Highlighting the issues and challenges in Housing for All Mission with respect to the urban poor.
Examining the role of national level institutions in delivering housing finance to the poor.
Elaborating on international experiences in affordable housing and housing finance.
Exploring means by which the challenges can be addressed to bridge the existing gaps in the sector.
Our esteemed panel shared insights backed with their experiences and perspectives towards bridging the gap. Panelists and Quotes:

Bijal Brahmbhatt, Director of MHT shared her experiences of implementing the In-Situ Slum Redevelopment (ISSR) component of ‘Housing for All’ mission.
“In implementation of ISSR, MHT always proposed for the representation of at least 50% constituent women in the RWA which was absent. SRC meeting held on 6th Sep 2019, a Resolution was passed for the mandatory presence of at least 50% constituent women in the RWA”, shared Bijal Brahmbhatt.

Somesh Tewari, COO, Sitara (a SEWA initiative) shared insights on work done by SITARA, in the field of Affordable Housing Finance to the under-served low-income households in the urban and peri-urban locations. “Different kind of property titles need to be converted into a more progressive or a formal title so that we can create mortgages”, said Somesh Tewari.

Kulasekhare chakravarthy, General Manager, National Housing Bank shared experiences on Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY) and Line of Credit for Urban Poor with Informal Tenure and Informal Income.

David smith, founder/ Ceo, Affordable Housing Institute shared international experiences of providing housing finance to government of various states and countries. “Trust and empathy are pivotal in understanding the affordable housing and housing finance needs of poor women in the informal sector.”- David Smith, Founder/ CEO, Affordable Housing Institute.

“Having multiple linkages with ancillary sectors such as home improvement, home construction, access to basic infrastructure; affordable housing segment has a significant multiplier effect for the Nation’s economic growth”, concluded Shruti Gonsalves, MD & CEO, Sitara-a SEWA initiative who moderated the session.She further shared, “Insulation from tech-intermediation- Affordable housing segment is the lowest income segment with maximum social impact remains largely without access to smartphones and hence the entire financing process is human touch and trust centric. Technology can streamline back-office and middle-office operations but the front end requires well-trained, empathetic team members.”

A video of Geetaben, Chairwoman of her Co-operative Housing Society was played. She revisited her past when she was a slum-dweller and how a slum rehabilitation project changed her fortune!

Another video of Bhanuben was played which shared her journey from owner of a tin-roofed structure to a three-storeyed home, home-based worker Bhanuben not just elevated her social standing but also upped her working conditions, thanks to the Housing Loan! The webinar was hosted on ZOOM platform and LIVE casted on MHT’s Facebook page: @Mahilahsg. It was LIVE tweeted on MHT’s Twitter handle: @mahilahsg. The recorded version is available on MHT’s Youtube channel. Policy makers, researchers, international organisations, NGOs, academia and many others participated to discuss and debate !

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