Sri Lanka: Lafarge Mahaweli Cement sets up affordable-housing programme

Sri Lanka: Lafarge Mahaweli Cement sets up affordable-housing programme
Published: 22 November 2013


A affordable-housing programme, which has been successfully implemented around the world by the Lafarge Group, will now be introduced to Sri Lanka, enabling low-cost yet safe construction.

Recipients of the loans will be selected through Sanasa Development Bank 's societies, according to the Lafarge plan, providing 75 housing loans initially, with the number expected to increase up to a 100. The Lafarge affordable-housing programme, which is initiated in the Gampaha district, has the potential to be extended across the country.

The MoU, which was signed at the Sanasa Development Bank Head office in Narahenpita, was officiated by Anurag Kak, managing director of Lafarge Mahaweli Cement (Pvt) Ltd, and Mahendra Galgamuwa, general manager/CEO of Sanasa Development Bank.

Anurag Kak said: "Our partnership with Sanasa Development Bank will allow us to combine resources to enable low- and middle-income groups to achieve their dream of owning a home. Most individuals lack knowledge when it comes to construction. Within our affordable-housing programme we will provide Sanasa Bank customers with architectural plans verified by experts in the field, the required BOQs as well as visits by our teams to the building sites."

According to Mahendra Galgamuwa, Sanasa Development Bank agreed to the MoU because it considers it a good way to support low-income groups since these individuals require loans far more urgently than the middle or upper class. In his speech at the signing ceremony, he said: "While we specialise in providing loans for low-cost housing, Lafarge will provide the construction expertise in terms of architecture, health and safety, etc since there is a lack of awareness on how to build houses or how to get a plan approved. For these reasons, it took longer in the past to obtain a housing loan. With this project we aim to minimise the time spent from obtaining the loan to completion of construction."

The clientele of the bank includesf farmers, fisherman, vendors and labourers and small business owners, which fits the Lafarge affordable-housing model.