Saturday, December 19, 2009
For detailed information, see http://www.mhfcindia.com/approved-project.html OR please call our rep at the site, Savio d'Souza on 9821730702.
Note: MHFC is NOT a builder, and is not responsible for the quality and title of properties even if approved by MHFC for customer financing – buyers need to make independent verifications. We also do not receive any commissions from the builder. Our interest in spreading the word is solely to bridge the information gap – to make those in the informal sector aware of projects aimed at the LIG segment, and further, to make them aware of financing available.
Sunday, December 6, 2009
One of our first clients, Neetu, recently moved into her new home in Virar. She is certainly our typical customer - a housemaid, who lived in a central Mumbai slum in very poor conditions (small room, poor sanitation, common toilet, no open space, etc) with her husband (a driver), her mother, 3 brothers and a younger sister. She has been wanting to buy her own home (one with clear title and reasonable quality) for some time now and with her husband, could put down the 20% margin on a home purchase from a private developer. The issue was to find a bank to finance the remaining 80%. When we met her, she said she harboured little hope in getting a loan as she had been turned down several times for much smaller loans in the past - because of a lack of documentary support to prove her income. At MHFC, we were convinced not just about her ability to repay the loan (by verifying her income with her employer) but also her willingness (the loan tenor is set at just 5 years evidencing her strong desire to be debt free as early as possible).
Attached are a couple of pictures - one of her old home and one of the new building. Its still a squeeze for 7 adults to be living in a 360 sq ft flat - but Neetu puts this in perspective when she says they used to live in a 150 sq ft room, and hence find the new home very comfortable.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
The discussion was very interesting on a couple of counts - firstly to get an indepth understanding of the various forces at work in Dharavi (typography of the population, the inner street layouts, of course the new plan and the alternatives) but secondly, to also hear David's view that "slums are the solution and not the problem" ! If I understood him correctly, he was making at least two points - first being that migrations are always going to continue and the slums were the only practical low cost residential option for this influx which was responsible for keeping costs low for the whole city (in terms of supplying services) - second point was that around the world, it was getting to be an accepted fact that slum demolitions did not work and instead the focus was on slum upgradation - in terms of helping with sanitation / water / electricity / home improvement etc. He said that with state support. the slums he saw 20 years ago in various countries (Colombia, Brazil, Peru, Thailand, etc) had actually improved to a point where he would happily live there.
It was highly interactive in that the audience questions took up another hour and Sheela had to finally force close the discussion at 6.30 (after 2 and a half hours).
Interview with David Satterthwaite
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The adaption process is truly fascinating. Most technology companies have started providing their CBD solutions to their clients in a Saas( Software as a service) model. This greatly reduces the sunk costs incurred by a budding MFI while allowing it to leverage all the essential core banking functionality it needs to operate.The Saas approach is single handedly the most beneficial service the tech companies are providing to MFI.
While the Saas model mainly deals with the back end processes, the implementation of technology at the frond end of the MFI operation is remarkable. In this case we were really impressed by the work FINO has done in this arena. They have designed and implemented mobile banking systems using the ubiquitous bluetooth enabled mobile phone (costing less than 80$) and integrated front end processes such as collections, disbursements, and loan management that were earlier completely detached and required manual data entry in order for them to be synced up with the core banking systems.
All in all it was a great conference, where I got to learn a lot about the processes and system being used by leading MFI today. Now we have the hard task to decide how best to leverage these wide array of technologies in order to meet challanges that MHFC will face in the coming years.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Mumbai Mobile Creches ("MMC") is an NGO based out of Mumbai which works with children of construction workers on building sites, specifically on health, education and safety. Its vision is for all children to have a nurturing and happy childhood and its mission is to promote ‘child-friendly sites’; where every child living on a construction site is able to enjoy their childhood. It tries to ensure that the first few years of a child‘s life are well nourished and stimulating, an essential foundation for a happy childhood, and it has a special focus on children below six.
MHFC is proud to be running the Mumbai Marathon (slated for Jan 2010) for Mumbai Mobile Creches.
For more info on MMC, see www.mumbaimobilecreches.org
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
link to the event below
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
But then how would she confirm the address for that ?
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Staggering statistic / estimate -
The UN estimates that 4,000 new houses must be built every hour to meet global demand. A billion people currently live in slums – with 25 million a year set to join them.
The show is available at -
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
the happy stuff first..we are now fully operational and have disbursed our first few loans..many more are in various stages of processing....MHFC's tie up with Tata Housing for the Shubhgriha project is also generating customers from all walks of life who could not have accessed mortgage finance from formal sources..
every loan tells its own story, and we are now trying (unsuccessfully so far) to document the impact of the mortgages on our customers lives..
we are refining our processes and improving response times to customers, and trying to do all the right things..but there are some things beyond our control...like taxes, like interest rates...
a significant part of the cost of a home is taxes..collected at every point...excise duties, sales tax, octroi, service tax, stamp duty etc etc..this is estimated at over 40% of the cost of the house. If the government is serious about addressing the problems of housing the poor, one easy way would be to waive these taxes for home values below Rs 500 thousand. This would be easier and more transparent than the current methods of hidden subsidies and high costs of collection of multiple taxes..
coming to interest rates...we have to find a way to reduce the cost of capital to this segment..MHFC interest rates are a function of its cost of borrowing and cost of operations. HDFC SBI etc obviously have a lower cost of capital and better access to capital markets than a start up like MHFC. we intend to work hard at this because we know that our target segment is highly sensitive to interest rates..
more next time...
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
1. nothing in it for the private developers / financiers - no specific schemes / amendments to previous schemes
2. however, significant impact on govt schemes which directly and indirectly impact LIG / EWS housing:
(a) rural housing fund (run by the NHB) allocation to go up by Rs 2,000 cr - this is the refinance scheme which provides funds to HFCs at 8% - while all our loans would eventually qualify (since our suburban focus falls under rural), not sure how we will benefit as not sure what the availability of this resource will be after our qualification period (generally 2 years)
(b) JNNURM allocation to almost double to about Rs 12,800 cr - assuming this is 25% used for urban housing, this is about Rs 3200 cr - given that grant / subsidy for housing is normally capped at Rs 1.5 lakhs, I guess this can support about 200,000 homes - which is significant.
(c) Indira Aawas Yojana - this is aimed at rural housing - and allocation also increased (38%) to Rs 8800 cr - which is significant but not sure whether MHFC can access since mostly rural and very small ticket (Rs 25,000 loan size normally and house budget less than Rs 50,000 normally)
but the main announcement is the new scheme
(d) Rajiv Awas Yojana - for which details still awaited (and expected to come out on Aug 20) - which has recd funding of approx Rs 4000 cr and is aimed at urban low income housing - its expected to be on the lines of the JNNURM program - so a mix of grant (from Central Govt), land (from state govt) and loan (envisaged from the HFCs / banks which is where MHFC can play a role).
all in all, private developers might be disappointed by the budget, but for HFCs willing to partner with the states, there are possibiities
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
In addition to the above, we have received calls (one as far away as Erode, Tamil Nadu) from builders interested in developing specific projects - hopefully this will continue (even when the market improves for other segments) as increase of supply is absolutely crucial.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Back to our project...
Key features of the project
- Four buildings almost 70-80% complete, other four at foundation stage
- Good location - close to the railway station and on a main road
- Really good quality of construction (including fancy PoP at corners on the ceiling)
- Impressive kitchen and bathroom fittings
Few pics -
Random pic (below) from the train - the Virar temple - it can be seen from all over in Virar
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Anyway, re loans against the property itself, MHFC is doing a soft launch - just circulating the possibility to people who have been asking us for some time about properties and loans - and it looks like we will have 100 buyers from just this personal reference list. We will be able to test our systems through this initial process - so treating this as a pilot.
Nachiket took some photos of the project itself which I am sure he will put up shortly.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Above: Near completion projects in Virar East
(we did not approve these, there is hardly any space between two buildings and there are new buildings coming up right in front)
Below are a few pictures from TMCity -
(A complete (mock) building and an overview of the current construction status)
For starters, since we are project led, the most important update is on the builder/project front.
Our team visited TMCity two weeks back and was really impressed by their progress. The last time I went there they barely had one mock building up (This was only 4-5 months back). Now almost 54 buildings are completed at foundation level and about 5-6 till the first floor. They are confident of completing about 3000 flats by the end of August and a 1000 more by December
We recently met the promoters of the Nirman group. They are building about 228 flats in Neral (near Karjat, where TMCity is located). They also have land banks in western and central areas of Mumbai and showed great enthusiasm in partnering with us. The meeting reinforced our belief that the main cause of lack of housing is not really a lack of developers, but it is the lack of financiers for the end-buyers. Once the builder is assured of the take out funding, in today's market, he is more than willing to put up mass low-cost housing projects.
Virar / Nalasopara:
When we had gone last time to take a look at some of the near-ready properties, frankly we were quite disappointed with the lack of planning (inefficient use of FSI) and poor quality of construction. We realized that MHFC will have to be involved from an earlier stage in a project to ensure decent floor plans and good quality of construction. Our mission is to improve the quality of life of the urban poor - not lift them from a slum to put them back in a concrete slum. We have identified a couple of builders in the area and are in talks with them to be the almost the exclusive financier to the whole project. That will give us enough leverage to ensure a decent finished product.
There is positive news from Ahmedabad too - the two builders we were talking to have got their environmental clearances and are set to start their projects in April/May. We are planning to go visit the sites again next week - more update on that will follow.
Overall, all the builders seem to be realizing this is a recession proof business and are willing to work on lower margins and higher volumes.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
In line with this, I just re-read the chapter on training Grameen staff in Mohammad Yunus's book "Banker to the Poor" - and thought the following passage was quite relevant and inspirational.
"Unlike any other commercial bank workers, our staff members are above all else teachers. They are teachers in the sense that they help their borrowers to unfold their full potential, to discover their strengths, to push their horizons and capabilities further than ever before. We give our staff an opportunity to use all their knowledge, imagination and experience to become true teachers. The job of manager (loan officer) is a personal adventure, the type of challenge a student has never had an opportunity to take up before."
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Forget about housing loans, he wasn't granted an educational loan by a major bank because of his residential address ! His story is inspiring in any case, but also adds validity (as are some of the other stories in the issue) that people with reasonable incomes are being denied finance by the current banking system, and change is necessary.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
the BBC has done interesting interviews with a variety of people on the inauguration - below is the link to the one with Maya Angelou - she thinks Obama is a person with intelligence and compassion - and how difficult it is to find those 2 qualities in the same person.
the other issue she raised was "I think that each of us can find a place to give some time... I think these seem to be small things but they accumulate. And I do believe that good done anywhere is good done everywhere." I know she meant this for Americans (to do what they can to help the new President) but I guess it applies to everyone.