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Micro Home Solutions

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Business model of Micro Home Solutions- a successful social enterprise

Micro Home Solutions Social Housing Initiative

Micro Home Solutions Social Housing InitiativeCHUTTU VASANTH-2014AGANESH V-2014B35V MURALI-2014D42

Rakhi is co-founder of mHS and determined to make people and players think more creatively about urban housing and building inclusive cities. A Rhodes scholar and an MBA from Harvard (09) she has many years of international development experience with CARE, Ashoka Fellows, Grameen Bank, RABO Bank, Jeffery Sachs office at Columbia University.Marco Ferrario, favors minimalist, functional architecture to bring good design where it has never been and where it is needed the most: low-income settlements. Marco graduated from the Politecnico di Milano in 2002 and worked as an architect in Italy, India, Singapore and USA prior setting in Delhi with mHS.


The majority of homeowners in urban India (up to 60% in Tier 1 cities, more in smaller towns) build their homes incrementally with the help of local masons/contractors. While these "self-constructed" neighbourhoods resist gentrification and succeed better at retaining a mixed income character in urban areas, the houses are usually structurally unsafe and poorly designed. They lack adequate lighting, ventilation and comfort.

Recent government policy has been swinging in favor of in-situ upgradation and redevelopment of slums with a vision for a "slum free India". A new scheme, Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), is charged with taking this forward. mHS collaborated with Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT) on an architectural and design study to redevelop two slum blocks in Sundernagari, East Delhi.

There are anywhere between 5-8 million urban homeless people in India. While the majority are homeless daily wage workers unable to afford rentals in slums, the others are unemployed men, youth, vulnerable women, and street children that require comprehensive social support in addition to shelter

The needs of the urban poor vary. Many new migrants are not interested in a house in the city. While some of them cannot afford one unit even in illegal settlements, many others want to retain their mobility. Developing and managing rental housing can be an appropriate solution to meet the housing needs of many urban poor, but it yields modest returns for owners and managers.4Understanding the MarketSegmenting housing needs

Where Delhi LivesType of SettlementApprox population in Lakh (2000)JJ Clusters20.72Slum Designated Areas26.64Unauthorized colonies7.4Resettlement Colonies17.76Rural Villages7.4Regularized-Unauthorized colonies17.76Urban Villages8.88Planned Colonies33.08Source: DUEIIP 2021

RESETTLEMENT COLONIES IN DELHI2 million living in resettlement colonies across 66 colonies

The 100 Shelters is a crowd-funded project to fund 100 ekSHELTERS for homeless families which has been made possible through the support of our generous donors.

Design Home SolutionsLocationMangolpuri, Delhi Funding AssistanceMichael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) Partner OrganizationsBASIX-BSFL, Baliga Trust LocationSaur, Tehri Valley, Uttarakhand,IndiaClient and partner organizationDue NorthYear2009 2011

Sundar Nagari Slum RedevelopmentLocationSunder Nagri, New DelhiClient and Partner OrganizationMahila Housing SEWA TrustYear2010 - 2011


Awards & RecognitionsMembership at the Clinton Global Initiative 2012Financial ModelFee for technical service model payable by the financial institution as well as the end clientTravel and research are funded through a Ford Foundation grantComprehensive action research proposal made to a Foundation is under considerationAfter reaching a break-even number of households in a given city- the service is self sustaining

mHS OperationsNo Organization structure. Team of 5 including Rakhi MehramHS works at 2 levels- Build and EnableHands-on implementation of pilots and prototypes for proof of conceptResearch and consultancy services to Intl and Govt institutions that influences policy & project designInnovative, viable and scalable housing solutions that meet the diverse housing needs of low-income people.

BuildDesigning and implementing on-the-ground solutions for affordabilityFinancial models to shelters or multi-storied houses- informs them what works and where the challenges lieSelf-constructionIn-situ upgradation and redevelopmentMicro mortgage modelsHomeless sheltersRental housing

Build- in detailSelf Construction- Incremental housing60% in tier-1 citiesResist GentrificationStructurally unsafe and poorly designedLack adequate lighting, ventilation and comfortIn-situ upgradation and redevelopment of slumsSlum free India Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY)mHS collaborated with Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT)Architectural and design study2 slum blocks in Sundernagari, East Delhi

Build- in detailHomeless Shelters5-8 million urban homeless people in IndiaMajority are homeless daily wage workers unable to afford rentals in slumsUnemployed men, youth, vulnerable women and street childrenRental Housing Needs of the urban poor varyMany not interested in a house in the citySome cannot afford one , many want to retain mobilityRental housing is appropriate solutionModest returns for owners and managers

Enable- in DetailTechnical R&DExplores Construction technology and materialsRationalizing costs while offering improved qualityMangolpuri pilot study of earthquake readinessNew design for multi-storey units in seismic zones.Research StudiesField presence complements mHS research workLarger enabling environment for low-income housing solutionsWorked with Ford foundation, etc to create & share knowledge about current low-income housing mktInterdisciplinary skillset to propose new solutions and explore the feasibility

Enable- in DetailTrainingTraining masons in low-income communitiesGrounded advice to staff of financial institutions on the issue of home loansInfluencing and improving local construction practicesConsultations & ExhibitionsMany organizations work in Urban development, housing & home finance spacemHS plays an active role in facilitating discussions & one-on-one consultationsResearch to capture larger policy trendsParticipates in exhibitions to build awareness on relevant housing and urbanization issues

PartnersAshoka innovators for PublicWorld BankMichael & Susan Dell foundationURBZBASIXYale School of ManagementMahila Housing Sewa TrustDueNorthUnified Traffic and Transportation Infrastructure (Planning & Engineering) Center (UTTIPEC)Ford FoundationDr A.V. Baliga TrustIGSSS - Indo Global Social Service Society

Latest Projects ekSHELTER - 100 Shelterscampaign that will see the production and distribution of 100 tents to homeless families in DelhiTransit Oriented Development (2013)- East Delhi; To come up with a financially attractive but inclusive project design; JLL, Oasis Design, SEWA MHT and the study was presented to UTTIPEC, Delhi Development AuthorityRanchi- studied the opportunity to improve housing and living conditions in the informal settlements of Ranchi ; SEWA MHT and Oak Foundation, UK.mHS rooftop office- Greater Kailash, 2012Ashoka affordable housing ratings- Assesses low-income housing on the basis of affordability, community, construction quality & sustainability; a tool for making housing decisions for them

Latest ProjectsDesign Home Solutions- conceptualized DHS to bring construction finance and technical assistance to households; BASIX-BSFL- 15 families with 2- storey constructionAssessing demand and supply of low income housingWorld Bank; To assess quality and quantity of self-/incremental construction in IndiaDesigned a typology framework across settlementsEvaluate the opportunity of providing housing finance to households in such neighborhoodsModular Shelter, New DelhiPartnership with local NGOmHS designed and constructed two modular shelters (150 persons)Scalable model for providing sustainable, cost-effective housing to urban India's most vulnerable population.

Latest ProjectsDue North Eco-Tourism projectPromoted tourism in a beautiful rural hill stationDue North's vision is to create multiple responsible tourism destinationsProvide villagers with an additional source of revenue.Sundar Nagari Slum RedevelopmentRAY-slum free India Pilot project to redevelop two slum clusters in Sunder Nagari, East DelhiPromoted by community-based NGO Mahila Housing SEWA Trust (MHT)

Social ImpactStatus QuoRampant encroachment on common space & existence of precarious structures with poor sanitary conditions, lighting, ventilationHome improvements are carried out by borrowing from lenders; 5-20% per monthInterventionFacilitate access to cheaper finance by collaborating with MFIsEnables slum dwellers to efficiently use resources in designing better homesBetter housing expands their livelihood options; Making design consistent with the enterpriseDirect ImpactDHS reached 20 households with loans of about $4000-5000. Plans to create awareness for around 1000 households through workshop for better buildings, building regulations, water sanitationAim is to reach 100,000 households (500,000 people) in rapidly urbanizing cities in next 2 years

Risks InvolvedAdoption risk:End customers may not immediately value the benefits of the serviceFinancial capacity to pay for the additional service; Mass market opportunity with low marginsTo overcome this, mHs works with groups of existing clients to create demonstration sitesUses community volunteers to generate knowledge on self-building practicesRisk appetite of MFIs:Large ticket sizes ($ 4000), long repayment period and new operating environment in urban areasMFI penetration is low in urban areas and the product require financial innovation both in terms of asset-liability management, and understanding the legal environment

Risks InvolvedO

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