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Understanding pro-poor housing finance in Malawi

Housing finance remains a major obstacle to home ownership in countries such as Malawi, especially among low-income earners. Many have decried the tendency of commercial banks to demand expensive collateral and formal employment for ease of enforcement of payroll deductions. This approach hinders access to credit by low-income citizens, not just in the housing sector but also for small-scale businesses.

This paper explores the experience of lending for housing, the performance of housing finance management tools and the development of alternatives. The discussion elaborates the challenges emerging from the first set of housing loans and in particular the problem of defaults on loan repayment.

Keywords: urban-poverty

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