Providing affordable housing and sanitation

Rebuilding affordable housing to help the poor

Action Rural Housing started its activity in 2006 helping two SHG members to rebuild their thatched huts into concrete houses using Stabilised Mud Blocks (SMB). Today, ARH has helped 60 members of SHG’s to have all weather houses enabling them have a safe roof over their head. During 2012-13, ARH sanctioned loans to 23 members to the tune of Rs.6,51,000, which included 13 members from one village Perumbedu kandigai in Minjur block who were provided financial assistance to complete their houses under Govt scheme. It is noteworthy that all the 13 members belong to Dalit community.

Action Rural Housing (ARH) is a not for profit Company registered under section25 of the Companies Act 1956. The Company was incorporated in Oct 2005 and commenced its business in Feb 2006. The main object of the Company is to promote hygienic healthy living of the poor people in rural communities through proper housing. 300 SHG women members are shareholders of the company who will not benefit in any way from the company in view of its not profit status. Two of the group leaders are Directors of the company. Other three directors are from NGO/banking sector.

Year No.of.members who benefitted Amount of loan given (Rs.) No.of members who repaid the loan No.of members who received additional loan Additional loan amount (Rs.)
2006-07 8 4,45,000 - - -
2007-08 12 6,50,000 - 1 15,000
2008-09 5 2,35,000 - - -
2009-10 7 2,35,000 2 1 30,000
2010-11 5 2,50,000 4 2 40,000
2011-12 23 6,51,000 8 - -
2012-13 12 5,20,000 21 - -
Total 72 24,66,000 35 4 85,000

The Company promotes affordable housing through low-cost technologies, such as using stabilised mud blocks instead of burnt bricks. It engages in education, campaigning and lobbying activities for housing development.

The Company also integrate the development programmes of other development agencies for maximum economic and social benefits to members who avail company’s assistance.

Production of Stabilised Mud Blocks (SMB)

With the technical assistance of Indian Institute of Science (IIS) Bangalore, ARH trained a mason and women members in the production of Stabilised Mud Blocks (SMB) which does not use timber for burning bricks as in the conventional technology. SMBs are produced by compacting a mix of stone dust, red earth and cement (5%) in a manually operated machine. Seven trained women members produce 300 bricks per day. Two members assisted by ARH used SMB’s in the construction of their houses.

Balwady for children of a village

ARH assisted 30 poor families settled along a tank bank in Abiramapuram Village in Minjur to have a balwady for the children, who need to be looked after when the women go for work. ARH provided SMB’s and other construction materials worth Rs.6,815/- in the construction of the balwady.


ARH encourages its beneficiaries to be part of low premium LIC schemes namely Janasree Bhima Yojan – paying Rs.100 as annual premium. The scheme ensures that if a member has natural death, the nominee in the family get Rs.30,000 and Rs.75,000 in case of accidents. Besides, the children of the members studying 9th to 12th get Rs.1200 scholarship from LIC which is limited to 2 children in the family.

Housing / Assistance to Ultra Poor Families

Action Rural Housing spends the surplus money in renovating thatch roof of the Ultra Poor Families in project villages. During 2012-2013, ARH gave a total grant of Rs 35,000 to five families. ( Rs 7500 to four families and Rs 5000 to one family).

The families are usually widow headed with school going children or having one or more people with disability in the family.

Other Activities

During the Annual General Body meeting conducted in 2010, all beneficiaries were given CFL bulbs at free of cost to reduce their power bills and also to create awareness on Global Warming. ARH also assisted children of poor families with notebooks & bags.

Kalpana and Bharathi who are sisters, lived under one roof with their children, bearing all discomforts. With ARH’s support, they have been able to build separate houses.

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Kumari, a member of Annai Terasa SHG, Gandhi Nagar in Sholavaram Block is a widow. She lives with her son and daughter-in-law.

Her son works as a machine operator in a private concern and supports the family. After getting financial support from ARH (Loan sanctioned in 2012), she completed building her house and comfortably lives in the new house with her family. She also feels that the repayment amount is not a burden and pays the dyes promptly. She has already repaid Rs.36,000 towards the principal