AVIOM: AFFORDABLE HOUSING FINANCE FOR UNDER-SERVED SEGMENT IN INDIA
Housing is the most basic human need; yet buying a first house can be nerve-racking. In India, the process of buying a house is intimidating and what makes it that? At the top of the list is getting a home loan. Not just for buying/purchasing new house, getting the loan for home improvement, extension or construction, is also as tough as it could get.
India’s large population base, rising income level and rapid urbanization is making the housing industry in India one of its fastest growing sectors. An analysis of housing affordability over the last 20 years reveals that despite increasing demand for housing; housing including rentals has been largely unaffordable for most of the world population. Major financial institutions are reluctant to lend to informal and semi-formal borrowers due to inconsistent income levels and lack of documentary proof. Also, these major financial institutions look for credit scores or credit history of loan applicants, which informal and semi-formal sector lack. Under the Government’s Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, the National Housing Bank (NHB) has been actively working with housing finance companies to deploy an interest subvention subsidy for low-income groups.
In August 2019, C4D made an investment in India-based Aviom India Housing Finance Pvt Ltd –A woman owned affordable housing finance company – to finance the setting-up of additional branches and expansion of its loan portfolio.
Founded in 2016, Aviom is an affordable housing finance company, offering tailor-made solutions to the under-served and under-banked informal and semi-formal borrowers from the semi-urban and rural markets. Given the increasing affordability levels, favorable regulatory incentives and increased capital inflows, Aviom has been able to successfully recognize the significant growth potential of these markets. The company has developed and designed a model that allows it to provide affordable and easily accessible housing finance loans to low-income individuals and families. Loans are extended for home purchase & construction, home extension & improvement and loan against property. Aviom aims to facilitate families in realizing their dream of owning their first house. As on December 2020, Aviom has served 17,000 clients and all of their clients are women.
Aviom has also set up ‘Aviom Shakti’, an initiative which aims at providing benefits for rural women as well as effective sourcing of clients for Aviom. It is a unique program which empowers rural Indian women by partnering with them with the possibility of fixed income for the ones who excel and show consistent conversions, thereby providing them with a source of livelihood. As on December 2020, Aviom has onboarded 12,000+ women to this program.
By providing loans to under-served population, the company is increasing the purchasing power of the population. Through its business activities, Aviom is adding positively to SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 8 (Decent Job & Economic Growth), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure). Additionally, through Aviom Shakti, the company also contributes to SDG 5 (Gender Equality). Aviom is well aligned with sustainable goals that C4D also aims to achieve.