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Completed Research by CUS

Evaluation of the Grameen Bank’s Rural Housing Programme

Evaluation of the Grameen Bank’s Rural Housing Programme

The Grameen Bank, a specialized credit institution for the rural poor in Bangladesh, initiated a housing loan programme in 1984. These loans are given only to existing Grameen Bank borrowers, who are landless and shelter less, to construct a new house or rehabilitate on existing one. This programme of housing is one of the very little effective housing assistance provided to the rural poor in Bangladesh. Between 1984 and 1989, Grameen Bank has supported the completion of over 60,000 housing units. Following the flood of 1987, which caused complete or partial damage to 2.06 million houses throughout the country, the Government of Bangladesh requested UNDP assistance in construction and rehabilitation. In response, UNDP offered $675,000 to finance on a Grant basis the creation of a revolving fund to be operated by the Grameen Bank for delivery of credit at 5 percent interest per annum for construction of at least three thousand housing units in Rangpur zone. This programme of post-flood housing was required to be implemented during 1 May to 31 March, 1989. The study evaluated the rural housing programme of the Grameen Bank particularly with reference to flood resistance capacity of houses built under the programme.

The Grameen Bank’s programme of housing is for a basic house which does not cost more than 18,000 taka, and more generally 10,000 taka, these being also their loan ceilings. The post flood housing programme also provided a basic housing design (optional and modifiable) with at least two essential components such as four concrete pillars and 2 bunds (18 pieces) of C.I sheets. The rest of the proposed 2 roof house was left to the builders themselves.

The CUS evaluation team was assigned with the task of reviewing the (a) concept and design of the housing programme, (b) quality and timeliness of programme implementation, and (c) monitoring and supervision of the programme The evaluation team has found the programme to be highly satisfactory and successful, however, not without problems and limitations. The limitations are primarily of technical nature. The team has also suggested some changes in the design to suit the needs of the people. Grameen Bank’s concept applies the “enabling strategy” advocated by UN-Habitat. The programme is replicable and expandable.

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