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The India’s apex housing finance institution National Housing Bank (NHB), together with the French Development Agency (AFD) and the European Union (EU), today announced their commitment to expand allocation of resources in order to promote green and affordable housing projects, through the SUNREF India Housing Programme.
Under this programme, housing finance companies, banks and home buyers will have access to competitive funding opportunities to finance green and affordable housing projects. The programme will also provide stakeholders with training opportunities on various technical aspects (norms, planning and project design regarding green and affordable components).
A comprehensive approach based on NHB’s experience
The programme includes a credit line of Euro 100 million granted by AFD in order to provide the stakeholders with adequately priced resources in the form of loans. It also includes a subsidy of Euro 12 million from the EU’s Asia Investment Facility (AIF) that embraces a technical component (worth Euro 3 million), and an investment incentive (worth Euro 9 million) to reduce the loan cost for final borrowers. Out of the latter, up to Euro 1 million will be used to support the cost incurred for housing projects’ green label certifications.
Speaking at the occasion, SK Hota, Managing Director, National Housing Bank, explained, “With nearly 70 per cent of India’s housing development lined up in the next decade itself, it is imperative that the environmental impact of construction is reduced. The SUNREF India programme not only encourages green housing through concessional funding but also supports the upgrade of technical knowledge and practices. I am confident our programme will serve as a catalyst in accelerating use of environment friendly strategies in housing.”
Strong support from international partners
According to Bruno Bosle, Country Director, AFD India, “The Euro 100 million credit line will support NHB’s refinancing operations to housing finance companies, banks or home buyers carrying eligible green building projects certified by local labels (IGBC and GRIHA). Doing so, it will encourage further adherence to green norms by housing projects. I am convinced that NHB’s programme will be a major achievement for the Indian housing sector”.
Elaborating on the technical assistance component of the programme, Henriette Faergemann, First Counsellor, European Union to India, spoke about the comprehensive training plan which includes trainings, capacity building activities and awareness campaigns. “Indeed, EU is a committed partner of India and working extensively over the past years addressing issues like climate change, green housing, energy efficiency and waste management, to name a few. SUNREF India programme fits well with the EU priorities in India as well as EU’s global priorities. With a Euro 12 million grant and technical assistance from the EU, we hope to support and reinforce the stakeholders understanding and expertise on green affordable housing through awareness campaigns, trainings and other capacity building initiatives.”
High commitment to deliver environmental and social positive outcomes
Green buildings deliver environmental, economic and social benefits for both, promoters and users. Indeed, the building sector has a large potential for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions compared to other major emitting sectors. Certified green buildings result in energy savings of 40 to 50 per cent and water savings of 20 to 30 per cent compared to conventional buildings in India.
By 2025, 12,000 households will benefit from SUNREF Housing Programme India, of which, at least half of them will be from the economically weaker sections of society.