CEMEX lays solid foundation to address need for affordable housing
CEMEX has a rich history of improving the well-being of those it serves with efforts to pursue innovative industry solutions. In keeping with this legacy, CEMEX has under taken a global affordable housing initiative that helps provide quality concrete housing to low-income families in developing countries.
CEMEX’s goal is to help support people striving to provide homes and shelter for their families. Through its affordable housing initiative, CEMEX is “helping to supply these new homeowners with affordable and reliable products, and helping them find the right financial solutions to secure quality housing,” said Juan Luis Alfiero, leader of the initiative. “The key to the future of this initiative will be the support of other institutions and partners to create an integrated and collaborative approach to ensuring the future of housing and infrastructure in developing countries.”
The housing initiative, which was launched in 2010, is defined by a two-tiered approach of providing affordable quality building solutions while also identifying adequate financial solutions to meet each family’s needs. As part of the initiative, CEMEX housing experts have developed several prototypes of concrete houses for various types of urban and rural communities. These prototypes have been adapted to local use and customs in different regions of developing countries. In recognition of the social and cultural differences in each country, CEMEX conducts market assessments to understand the needs and customs of each region, noted Martha Herrera, Communication and Responsibility Director. The cost of building these houses, including finishes, fixtures, and equipment is less than $10,000 U.S.
Herrera observed that implementation of such a large-scale global initiative involves coordination with multiple departments such as the Housing, Concrete and Commercial Division, the Planning and Corporate Communications Department and the Public Affairs Department in each country. She added that “we share best practices and success cases between us through our internal web network and with monthly conference updates. Every country has different needs and has different housing actors. Active participation of our local employees is crucial in this initiative.”
CEMEX is also working with various institutions to obtain suitable financial product fees and payment terms for the beneficiaries. As of today, CEMEX has implemented 30 housing projects under this initiative in coordination with third-party developers in five countries – Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama. Cemex had built more than 4,800 houses over the past two years and plans to expand its efforts to the Mediterranean and Asian regions.
The worldwide housing deficit has an estimated 1.1 billion people in urban areas alone living in inadequate housing. Mitigating the deficit is a challenge that requires joint action between governments, financial institutions, NGOs, and private enterprises to help build communities from the ground up. CEMEX has already collaborated with a number of important international, federal, state, and local organizations to ensure such affordable housing including Ashoka Housing for All, the International Finance Corporation, the Mexican National Housing Commission (CONAVI), Federal Mortage Society (SHF Development Bank), the Costa Rica Housing Ministry and the Costa Rica-Canada Foundation, the Nicaraguan Housing and Urban Institute (INVUR), the General Bank of Panama, the Nuevo Leon and Campeche Housing Institutes in Mexico, among others. With the support of these institutions, CEMEX expects to contribute to improving living conditions of families living in inadequate and inhumane conditions.