At the macro level, housing finance generates economic growth via job creation, entrepreneurship, and economic linkages. At the individual level, it makes it possible both for people to have shelter and a real asset, which might be the largest investment a family makes in a lifetime. In addition, housing finance activities spur expansion in financial and capital markets. For these reasons, IFC works with clients to increase access to housing finance in emerging markets and consequently, to increase affordable housing.
Our clients benefit from long-term lines of credit; partial guarantees of local currency credit issues to foster local currency mortgage lending; and warehouse lines to support securitization activities. In addition, mortgage market development occurs from strong primary market competition, and, where appropriate, secondary market conduits, making institution building one of IFC’s key goals. Because there is a critical need in many markets to foster the production of affordable housing, we are actively pursuing the establishment of construction financing facilities.
In 2010, IFC completed projects to study and develop affordable housing solutions to the middle and lower income population segments in countries such as India and Uganda. In India, the result of our advisory services projects has lead to investment in housing finance institutions specifically targeting workers in states without adequate access to finance.
Our priorities include support for increased access to housing solutions among lower income social groups, promoting responsible finance, and further development of housing finance in least developed markets such as Africa, South and Central Asia and Latin America, often together with the World Bank.
As of June 30, 2010, IFC has committed more than $1.7 billion in mortgage and housing finance with an outstanding portfolio of nearly $1 billion. 20 Advisory Services projects are active globally, with particular focus in Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Africa and South Asia. 75 percent of direct client projects are in IDA countries.