FMO's strategic goal in the housing sector is to finance affordable housing initiatives, geared at lower and middle incomes, in developing markets. We support property developers, banks and microfinance institutions, by focusing both on the supply side (financing construction of houses) and the demand side (by providing long-term loans to financial institutions for mortgage finance). A housing project can only be successful if both sides operate well; financing needs to be available for end-users to pay for the newly-built houses.
FMO seeks to support housing projects, primarily in Africa and Asia, that are accessible, affordable and sustainable. We believe such housing can have a profound social impact - empowering and emancipating the individual as well as the community. We see it as a means to stimulate development and lift people out of sub-standard, unacceptable living conditions. We work solely with private sector housing partners. Local governments are only indirectly involved in our projects as they need to provide the licenses and permits.
In 2011, we continued to boost our knowledge of the housing sector, gaining a clearer understanding of how to fine-tune our project partner selection process and best structure our financing to mitigate risk. We prefer to finance projects together with local financial institutions, which share FMO's vision on housing and are able to assist in the structuring and monitoring of the project. Working with knowledgeable local partners is vital, as our experience has proven that housing is above all a local business.