The Rural Housing Fund offers financial assistance to the weaker sections. A look by Balaji Rao

The National Housing Bank, which is celebrating its silver jubilee, is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of India and its purpose is to create “affordable housing opportunities for all”. Based on this mission the NHB has formulated a scheme called the Rural Housing Fund which aims at offering financial assistance to such cadre of the society who are categorised under the weaker sections.

Here “rural area” would mean all those areas in any town whose population does not exceed 50,000 as per the 1991 census. Since there has been no further census information available on modifications to the 1991 data, many areas around Bangalore city still remain to be classified as “rural area”.

In Bangalore, areas such as Attibele (after Electronics City) and Arakere (Bannerghatta road) are said to be still falling in the “rural area” category. However, it would be prudent to obtain the official data from the authority concerned before identifying such places to own/build a house.

Shamila, AGM, Canfin Homes Ltd., shared the information on loan eligibility and criteria for sanctioning the loans under this category.

(1) The maximum loan amount sanctioned under the scheme of “rural housing” is Rs.15 lakh;

(2) The purpose should be for either construction of house or purchase of house/flat;

(3) Maximum loan amount sanctioned for renovation / repair is Rs. 5 lakh;

(4) The property could be owned singly by a woman or she should be a co-owner which is mandatory;

(5) If the applicant belongs to the SC/ST/minority segment, the owner / borrower could be a male or a female;

(6) The rate of interest is 9.75 per cent floating.

Tenure

Further, the loan tenure ranges from five to a maximum of 30 years for salaried class, five to 25 years for professionals and five to 15 years for business class; however the tenure discretion would be with the housing financial institution.

All types of borrowers (female and/or male) will have to satisfy the lending norms as per the requirement of the lending institution.

The loans under NHB rural housing scheme are sanctioned for buying house or flat under construction, repair/renovation/extension, composite loan (loan for purchase of site and construction on it), and purchase of a new house/flat.

Those individuals who are willing to purchase a house/flat under the designated rural areas and satisfy the lending norms of the HFI can approach lending institutions for a loan which seems affordable.