Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity – Market Research in the Housing Microfinance (HMF) industry in Tanzania

Altair conducted market research with consumers and relevant stakeholders in the housing microfinance (HMF) industry in Tanzania.

About the project

Habitat for Humanity International (HfHI) and Tanzania Mortgage Refinance Company (TMRC) engaged Altair Consultancy and Advisory Services Ltd (Altair) to research the current state of the HMF market and explore demand for new HMF products. This gave HfHI and TMRC a clearer idea how local financial institutions (Fis) can develop and participate in Tanzania’s fledgling housing microfinance market.

The expectations achieved from this study were:

  • Identified the needs and potential for HMF in Tanzania.
  • Identified the current HMF situation in Tanzania.
  • Built a case for HMF potential in Tanzania.
  • Benchmarked other markets with matured HMF solutions.
  • Identified peculiar terms for supporting HMF.

This study provided an up-to-date insight into the state of the HMF sector and the potential for such a product for this market. In addition, the expected future outcomes from the study would be to help:

  • Mobilize funding to support the diversification of TMRC operations (to potentially include HMF and/or similar products).
  • Identify potential financial providers to deliver a demonstrative pilot program to illustrate the business potential of this product.
  • Provide technical assistance to FIs on product design.


The stakeholder interviews demonstrated that HMF was an excellent fit for the culture of incremental self-build.

The household survey results presented the barriers to accessing housing finance such as high interest rates, documentation requirements, deposit requirements and large repayment instalments. Acknowledging these barriers can help future housing finance schemes to be more accessible.

The focus group discussions highlighted the benefits of home ownership, as well as understanding the ideal home and the desired improvements to a current home.

The market research resulted in Altair giving recommendations on how to build a robust HMF market in Tanzania.

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