Patrimonio Hoy is Tackling Multidimensional Poverty

Multidimensional Poverty

Low-income families in Mexico have struggled for years to acquire and maintain affordable housing. In fact, 34% of Mexican families live in poor-quality homes, many of which are self-constructed. Patrimonio Hoy was created in 1998 to address this problem. The program provides low-income families with building materials, microfinance, technical assistance and logistical support so that they can acquire livable housing.

Patrimonio Hoy is a subsidiary of the multinational Mexican cement manufacturer CEMEX. After joining the Business Call to Action in 2014, its goals are to offer a market-based solution to meet the needs of low-income families, provide at least 125,000 low-income families in Mexico with affordable housing and replicate the model in other developing countries.

How it Works

Technical Assistance

A Patrimonio Hoy architect visits a family in their home to assess their house structure, discuss their building plans and evaluate their financial situation. After the assessment, the architect develops the building plan. This plan includes the design type and quantity of material needed to meet the required construction standards.


Families receive customized financing products according to their financial needs. New customers can choose a schedule with multiple deliveries of building materials. This schedule is then customized to each customer’s needs, ability to pay and the desired construction timeline.

Building Materials and Construction Services

Patrimonio Hoy has created additional demand for construction materials. This, in turn, has enabled local distributors to increase their sales without any additional investments.

In addition to helping customers acquire proper building materials, Patrimonio Hoy supervises the entire construction process. The program acts as a professional contractor and manages the legalization of land titles. This lightens the administrative burden on low-income families.

How Patrimonio Hoy Addresses Poverty

Patrimonio Hoy is addressing Millennium Development Goal 1: To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. The program improves the lives of more than two million individuals through more than 3.3 million square meters of home construction. It also empowers families and encourages local economic development.

Patrimonio Hoy also addresses Millennium Development Goal 3: to promote gender equality and empower women. The program has trained more than 3,000 women promoters and their families in low-income communities.

Patrimonio Hoy also increases local employment and improves the local public school infrastructure. This brings greater responsibility in households and encourages better learning and health for children.

Expansion and Success

More than 750,000 low-income families in Latin America have benefitted from the project. Patrimonio Hoy has attained national coverage in Mexico (29 states, 56 cities) and has expanded across Latin America to Costa Rica, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua and Panama.

Patrimonio Hoy is constantly innovating and creating new business initiatives to further improve the quality of neighborhoods. Already the program has empowered families, and improved their general quality of life, ultimately preparing participating countries for steady economic and social growth.

Liliana Rehorn

Photo: Flickr