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Arun Developers, Pune

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India's low-cost housing space is increasingly getting global attention

India's low-cost housing space is increasingly getting global attention

Funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Reall has been in the affordable housing segment for over 30 years, helping more than 3.5 million people across Asia and Af...India's low-cost housing space is increasingly getting global attention. UK-based impact investor Reall has shown interest in this segment with a commitment of investing in Bengaluru-based affordable housing developer Janaadhar India, two people familiar with the development said.

"Investment proposals are underway with Janaadhar and will be subject to an approval process by our investment committee. The first investment proposal under development is for GBP5.5 million over a 2 year period," said Emma Ahmed, head of Asia Operations at Reall.

The quantum of investment can rise later, two other people said.

Funded by the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), Reall has been in the affordable housing segment for over 30 years, helping more than 3.5 million people across Asia and Africa.

This is Reall's first partnership with an Indian developer. Earlier in July, India saw World Bank's funding arm International Finance Corporation investing $100 million in debt into PNB Housing Finance for on-lending to the low-cost housing segment.

Activity in this space has gained traction with push from the government and is expected to bridge the housing gap in the country. Official data suggest that India needs to build 11 million low-cost dwelling units for nearly 50 million people that do not have adequate housing.

A senior official with Janaadhar said that the funding from Reall will be done in a combination of equity, debt and grants. "The fund will be drawn down on a project-by-project basis," the person said. Unitus Capital was the financial advisor for this partnership.

"The Partnership is one of mutual support and alignment towards delivering quality affordable housing to the bottom 40% of the pyramid in India," said Ahmed.

The developer is planning housing projects across Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka and the National Capital Region. Each project is expected to cost up to Rs 120 crore, building about 600 to 800 units each (1BHK and 2 BHK). The developer said it plans to introduce precast technology, which allows superior construction and greater efficiencies at lower costs.

To date, Janaadhar has delivered 1,500 dwelling units to the economically weaker and low-income segments across Karnataka and Gujarat.
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