Cemex makes home improvements accessible for the poor in 5 Latin American countries
CEMEX, a global leader in the building supply and cement industry, has recently expanded its highly-successful Patrimonio Hoy initiative. Originally started in 1998 with the goal of reducing the housing deficit in Mexico, Patrimonio Hoy has since expanded into 4 additional Latin American countries and developed into one of the region’s most successful social enterprises.
Patrimonio Hoy provides low-income families with access to micro-loans for construction materials and labor as well as technical assistance for the purpose of building or renovating their homes. The program organizes people in poor neighborhoods into small groups to save money, depositing it with the company. If one person has trouble putting aside the weekly amount, others in the group can provide assistance. When an ability to save has been proved, the company delivers construction products and expertise. Beneficiaries are able to make improvements to their homes faster than if they had relied on normal savings accounts and at 20% lower cost.
Following a partial credit guarantee from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in 2011, Patrimonio Hoy is scaling up its operations in Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic. It is estimated that by 2016, more than 750,000 low-income families in Latin America will be beneficiaries of the project.