The French Development Agency (AFD) and National Housing Bank (NHB) supported by
the European Union launch 112-million-euro green housing program, SUNREF Housing India
New Delhi, August 17th 2017
New Delhi, 17th August, 2017. The French Development Agency (AFD), National Housing Bank (NHB), and the European Union (EU) today launched the SUNREF Housing India program. Aimed at scaling up green housing projects in India, SUNREF (Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance) Housing India will provide a financing of 112 million euros to NHB, through a credit line of 100 million euros with AFD and a grant of 12 million euros financed by the European Union. The credit facility and grant agreements were signed with NHB in July 2017.
The three partners today presented the details of the SUNREF Housing India program to housing sector stakeholders in the presence of Their Excellencies Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, Ambassador of France to India, and Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union to India.
SUNREF Housing India: an innovative program to reduce the environmental impact of the housing industry in India
The housing construction industry is a major contributor to environmental pollution, with high levels of energy consumption and carbon emissions, all of which contribute to climate change. Throughout their life cycles, from construction to operation and then demolition, buildings consume resources in the form of energy, water, materials, etcetera, and emit wastes either directly in the form of municipal wastes, or indirectly as emissions from electricity generation. Today, buildings are responsible for 22% of the CO2 emissions in India.
In the background of the dramatic growth of the Indian housing sector where 70% of the dwelling units are to be built from now on till 2030, SUNREF Housing India program aims to reduce the negative impacts on environment of the housing industry and to encourage the development of green residential buildings, that demonstrate more efficiency in energy, water and building material use.
AFD and EU financing will support NHB in providing more funding to the green housing sector - home buyers and developers - via banks and Housing Finance Corporations.
The project will focus on:
- promoting the existing local green labels for housing (GRIHA and IGBC);
- making green housing more affordable to low-income households;
- demonstrating the market potential and the relevance of green housing;
- encouraging the adoption of rules favoring green housing in public policies.
Several incentives to help scale up the green housing industry
In addition to the financing it brings to NHB, SUNREF Green Housing program will offer several incentives to the stakeholders of the green housing sector to accelerate the development of their activities:
- The cost of certification will be funded by a grant of the EU, the Asia Investment Facility (AIF);
- The AIF-financed technical assistance program will enable targeted skills transfers and help NHB as well as private and public stakeholders (developers, investors/financiers, States/ULBs and home owners) enhance their expertise and capacities for planning and implementing green housing schemes.
The technical assistance will be extended over the next four years through trainings, capacity building activities and awareness campaigns.
H.E. Mr. Tomasz Kozlowski, Ambassador of the European Union, said, "The EU and India have a shared vision in the areas of sustainable urbanisation and climate change, which is driving an ambitious agenda of cooperation in these sectors. As part of its mandate, the EU is also working together with the Indian Government on energy efficient buildings in a number of states, of which the current initiative is a part. Focusing on affordable green housing, this project aims to showcase that green housing is not only the luxury of the rich and middle income groups, but can be a reality for low and medium income groups as well."
Strengthened collaboration between France and India for combatting climate change and the development of smart cities
Operating in India since 2008, AFD develops cooperation actions for sustainable development and the fight against climate change. AFD has committed nearly 1.5bn euros (10,500 crore rupees) to support India in its urban, energy and environmental transitions. SUNREF Housing India program complements AFD’s other projects in this country focusing on clean energy, sustainable urban development and smart cities.
Through this program, France is also supporting India’s efforts towards fighting climate change. India has included actions on buildings in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the Global Alliance for Construction and Buildings, launched during COP 21 as part of the Lima Paris Action Agenda, includes two Indian members, showing the importance given by India to this sector.
Commending the initiative, Ambassador of France to India, H.E. Mr. Alexandre Ziegler, said, “Sustainable development is a core mission of the French Development Agency, whose mandate in India is tailored to the Indian government’s priorities. SUNREF Housing India will boost the green housing sector through financing, incentives and capacity building activities. The success of this initiative will contribute to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.”
About Agence Française de Développement (AFD)
AFD, a public financial institution that implements the policy defined by the French Government, works to combat poverty and promote sustainable development. AFD operates on four continents via a network of 75 offices and finances and supports projects that improve living conditions for people, boost economic growth and protect the planet. In 2016, AFD earmarked 9.4bn euros to finance projects in developing countries and for overseas France.
About the European Union
The EU, which consists of 28 countries, has the world's largest economy and its third largest population, after China and India. Though richly diverse, the countries that make up the EU (its 'Member States') are all committed to the same basic values: peace, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. They have set up common institutions so that decisions on matters of joint interest can be made democratically at European level. By creating a frontier-free single market and a single currency (the euro) which has been adopted by 19 Member States, the EU has given a significant boost to trade and employment. It is also at the forefront of policies on sustainability.
For over 50 years the EU and India have worked together to reduce poverty, expand trade, and promote joint research in energy, health, agriculture and many other fields of mutual interest.
More information at: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/india
About Asia Investment Facility (AIF)
The AIF was created to provide EU grant support for lending operations by European, incl. Member States', development finance institutions. The objective is to combine European Union grants with loans from EU and its Member States financial institutions in order to finance large investment projects in the North, South and South-East Asia region. The AIF targets the following sectors: energy, environment, social infrastructure and the private sector.
SUNREF (Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance) is AFD’s green finance label. In a context of energy and environmental transition, SUNREF helps private actors in Southern countries seize the opportunities of this transition via an innovative approach and encourages local banks to finance it. To date, 42 SUNREF projects have been successfully implemented since 2006, in partnership with 70 local banks in some 30 countries of operation, for a total commitment of over 2.5bn euros in loans allocated by AFD, of which 1.2bn euros has already been disbursed.
National Housing Bank (NHB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Reserve Bank of India (RBI), was set up on 9 July 1988 under the National Housing Bank Act, 1987. NHB is an apex financial institution for housing finance. NHB has been established with an objective to operate as a principal agency to promote housing finance institutions both at local and regional levels and to provide financial and other support incidental to such institutions and for matters connected therewith.
NHB regulates and supervises Housing Finance Companies (HFCs) and co-ordinates with other Regulators.