April 6, 2020
On April 3, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) signed a loan agreement to provide long term finance of US$75 million to PNB Housing Finance Limited (“PNB Housing”), (an Indian Housing Finance Company registered with the National Housing Bank, promoted by Punjab National Bank, a Government of India owned entity) for the purpose of providing affordable housing to low income households.
This loan will be provided through co-financing with the Citibank based on the Facility for Accelerating Financial Inclusion in Asia (announced March 27, 2020).
In India, housing shortages are a serious challenge. 275 million people (about 22% of the total population) are currently unable to acquire quality housing, and 90% of the housing shortages are for low-income households. India is faced with rapid urbanization: it is estimated that the urbanization rate will be about 40% by 2030. Hence, the improving access to housing for low to medium income households in urban areas is also important.
PNB Housing, with the strength of its efficient and rigorous underwriting processes, technology platform and widespread network of 105 branches, 27 outreaches and 23 underwriting hubs, is a significant lender in the sector. The company has also been successful in containing its gross non performing asset ratio through its robust underwriting and collection process. With a customer-centric mindset, they provide housing loans tailored as per customers request, while also expanding the same for affordable segment.
The Government of India has adopted the goal of “Housing for all” to provide housing to the entire country and has implemented various supports. JICA will further expand low-income housing loans in India through this financing, thereby improving the lives of low-income households and promoting sustainable economic growth in the country. This will contribute to the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) 1, 5, 8, 11, and 17 of JICA.