The National Housing Bank (NHB), on Thursday, said it would raise up to $200 million in the next quarter under the new ECB (external commercial borrowing) window.

“We are looking at raising up to $200 million under the new ECB window opened by the RBI for low-cost housing. We will soon approach the RBI for its permission. The money will be used to fund retail housing,” Chairman and Managing Director R. V. Verma told reporters here.

The housing finance regulator would also try to raise funds on behalf of developers who were into low-cost housing, he said.

“Our funds will be used to finance low-income households by way of credit to housing finance companies (HFCs) on pre-condition that the fund is used only to build affordable houses,” Mr. Verma said. Even though home sales are falling in almost all the major markets, Mr. Verma said he was expecting a 20 per cent growth in housing finance this fiscal. On December 17, the Reserve Bank allowed real estate developers and housing finance companies to raise up to $1 billion through ECBs in the current fiscal to promote low-cost residential projects. ECBs are considered attractive option as cost of raising the loan overseas is lower than that of domestic borrowings.

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