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Patrimonio Hoy: A Home for Everyone

Date published: October 7, 2015

Patrimonio Hoy: A Home for Everyone

Esperanza and her daughters

Just one year ago, Esperanza lived with her husband and two young daughters in an 8-square-meter room with a tin roof and only a few curtains separating the kitchen from the living room and bedroom.

The family members, who live in an underserved area of Tuxtla Gutierrez, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, tell how they suffered during the rainy season because the water seeped through the roof, as did the scorpions and cockroaches during the summer.

Tired of this situation, Esperanza convinced her husband to join Patrimonio Hoy, a CEMEX program that provides building materials, microfinance, technical assistance and logistical support for low-income people living in urban and semi-urban areas that aspire to more decent housing.

"Before, I was the most unhappy woman in the world, for me that was not a home. Let's be realistic; nobody wants to live in a house like that," she said during an interview in her family’s new home, which already has floor slabs and the prep-work for a second floor.

For Esperanza, the memory of her former house is so sad that she burned all the photographs taken there. Fortunately, the past is behind her and now the members of this family, like many others, are enjoying the fruits of their labor.

Patrimonio Hoy: A Home for Everyone

480,000 families have benefitted from Patrimonio Hoy

Over 2.3 million people in Latin America have benefited from this program, which sets out solutions tailored to users, in accordance with their construction needs and ability to repay. As long as they have a lot on which to build, those interested in participating in Patrimonio Hoy receive comprehensive advice from an architect who works directly with them to design a custom plan.

Through a micro-credit without prerequisites and with comfortable fixed weekly or bimonthly payments, the family can transform their home with a concrete plan. The result is a self-constructed housing unit of 10 square meters. It is noteworthy that the financing of the program is tailored to the needs of customers, ie, flexible deadlines and specialized construction services until the keys are in hand.

In August 2015, thanks largely to the efforts of Patrimonio Hoy, Fortune magazine included CEMEX as #16 on its 'Change the World' list, which ranks the 50 international companies that are responding to serious social problems through their businesses. In the ranking, which also includes companies like Google, Facebook and Toyota, CEMEX stands out as the only Latin American company and the only one in the building materials sector.

Patrimonio Hoy: A Home for Everyone

Joining Patrimonio Hoy also resulted in a new way of earning a living, because Esperanza's husband started a business to make blocks with the leftover sacks of cement.

"Now with the way I live here, right now I feel happy. It was difficult, but worth the effort," says Esperanza, whose name in English means 'hope.'

In total, this CEMEX program has benefitted 480,000 families, led to 4 million square meters of homes, and provided loans exceeding $295 million with a timely payment rate of 99 percent.

Patrimonio Hoy has been recognized worldwide, receiving awards such as the 2006 World Business and Development Award in support of the Millennium Development Goals and UN-Habitat Business Award for best practice solutions for affordable home (2009). In addition, it has been used as a successful business case in institutions like Harvard University, Northwestern University, University of Michigan and Stanford University.

CEMEX is a global building materials company that provides high quality products and reliable service to customers and communities in more than 50 countries. CEMEX has a rich history of improving the wellbeing of those it serves through innovative building solutions, efficiency advancements, and efforts to promote a sustainable future.

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