Microfinance for Housing: Is it Built to Last?

Free Events
09 May 2018 18:30 - 20:15

A panel discussion on access to finance for affordable housing (topic of the European Microfinance Award 2017), and the European Dialogue: Building New Foundations in Housing Microfinance


Wednesday, 9th May, 2018

From 6.30 to 8:15pm

Followed by reception


Hosted by:

One Bishops Square

London, E1 6AD




Sandra Prieto, Habitat for Humanity’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter

Daniel Rozas, European Microfinance Platform

& Trushna Patel, Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance


Chaired by Sam Mendelson, European Microfinance Platform and Financial Inclusion Forum


To register for this event please click here 



Each year, the European Microfinance Platform (e-MFP) launches the European Microfinance Award, in conjunction with the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Inclusive Finance Network Luxembourg (InFiNe.lu). The Award invites applications from financial institutions that are innovating, exploring and testing new ideas that go beyond their core financial services and epitomise the evolution of the microfinance sector beyond its traditional, microenterprise credit offering.


The 2017 European Microfinance Award, Microfinance for Housing, aimed the spotlight on what financial institutions serving the world’s poor can do to address their housing needs. It presents initiatives that showcase the best – and highly diverse – housing finance practices around the world. Many combine financial and non-financial services – helping households to build and improve their own homes through housing microfinance; some offer micro-mortgages, others provide dedicated savings or insurance products, facilitate access to government housing subsidies for the poor, and offer a range of other support mechanisms. Their experience is instructive for any institution seeking to develop or expand their housing finance programme.


This panel session is a joint event between FIF and e-MFP, and is generously hosted by Allen & Overy. The speakers will present the outcomes of the 2017 Award and discuss the challenges and opportunities in the current housing microfinance landscape, while looking ahead to the medium-term prospects for the sector. The speakers joining us are:

  • Sandra Prieto, who serves as Global Director of Operations and Financial Inclusion at Habitat for Humanity International’s Terwilliger Center for Innovation in Shelter, where she works to promote inclusion of low-income populations in the housing finance sector. With over 21 years of international development experience, Sandra has trained over 400 practitioners and consultants in housing microfinance; authored papers on affordable housing value chains and government-based mechanisms for affordable housing; the most recent the Terwilliger Center’s annual State of Housing Microfinancereport, and has served as editor of other housing microfinance related publications, including the Housing Microfinance Product Development: A Handbook and the most recent Building the Business case for Housing Microfinance in SSA.
  • Daniel Rozas, who is a Senior Microfinance Expert at e-MFP and a consultant and researcher on a broad range of topics. Daniel is also co-founder of the MIMOSA project, which provides a methodological assessment of market saturation and risk of overindebtedness for leading microfinance markets. Prior to his microfinance career, Daniel worked for the US mortgage investment company Fannie Mae during 2001-08, where he had first-hand experience with the extraordinary boom-and-bust cycle that took place in the US mortgage market during this period.
  • Trushna Patel, who joined the Aga Khan Agency for Microfinance (AKAM) in 2010 as the Funding Manager, managing funding and investor relations for AKAM’s network of 10 inclusive finance institutions in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and South and Central Asia. With 15 years of experience in financial inclusion and international development, Trushna has also worked for an Indian NGO, the Self Employed Women’s Association leading the microfinance strategy of an earthquake rehabilitation program. Trushna started her career at the Corporate Council on Africa working on a trade and investment promotion program for West Africa.

The session will be moderated by Sam Mendelson, Financial Inclusion Specialist at e-MFP and a Financial Inclusion Forum Director. He was lead author of the European Dialogue for the last three years, as well as sitting on the Pre-selection and Selection Committees for the last two Awards. Sam authored ‘Building New Foundations in Housing Microfinance’, as part of e-MFP’s publication series, which pulls together the background, remit and process of the Award, and summarises the themes and best practice underpinning the most innovative housing initiatives underway in the sector.

We look forward to seeing you for what will be a lively and informative discussion among leading experts in the field.


Financial Inclusion Forum & the European Microfinance Platform


All Dates

  • 09 May 2018 18:30 - 20:15