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Chase Bank's Rafiki DTM to provide low cost housing

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Houses under construction. Photo/FILE

Houses under construction. Chase Bank’s subsidiary, Rafiki, has started mortgage financing targeting low-income earners, becoming the latest institution to join lenders competing for the low end of the home loans market. Photo/FILE 

By EVELYN SITUMA

Posted  Tuesday, August 7  2012 at  12:28

A recently licensed national deposit-taking microfinance has put ink on Sh1.7 billion financing deal from ResponsAbility Investments AG, world leading asset managers.

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Rafiki DTM, a microfinance arm of Chase Bank, is targeting to use the money to boost low cost housing efforts, a plan the company had made known last month during the launch of its housing microfinance product.

“The availability and affordability for decent housing for the majority middle and low income earners, has remained an enormous challenge in Kenya. Therefore, this informs our decision of engaging in empowering the middle and low income earners through these tailor-made products to increase availability and access to decent and affordable homes,” said David Mavindu, chief executive officer of Rafiki DTM during the launch.

The microfinance seeks to provide affordable housing by lending Sh1 million mortgage loans to cover the construction costs, targeting low income earners.

Chase Bank says it opted to use the approach of a microfinance so as not to dilute its current brand, but rather offer better alternative services for small enterprises and the jua kali sector.

Christian Speckhardt, a member of the management board of ResponsAbility Social Investments AG is confident with the current climate in the financial sector and anticipates it will stabilise at some point bringing in growth.

“As the economy recovers in developing and transition countries, we anticipate further stabilisation of the microfinance sector and a return to sustainable levels of growth,” said Mr Speckhardt.

He also applauded the professionalism by microfinance institutions in risk management.

“Another trend that can be observed is an improved regulatory environment in the microfinance sector, with a number of countries tightening up supervision and creating credit bureaus,” added Mr Speckhardt.