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Cementos Mexicanos, CEMEX
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For helping more than 1 million poor people build their own homes, and more

CEMEX, the world’s largest construction supplies company, which grossed over USD 21 billion in 2008, is awarded for their Patrimonio Hoy and Productive Centres for Self-employment (Community Blockers) initiatives. The Patrimonio Hoy scheme, which is marketed as “build your house and get empowered”, gives low-income families living in urban and semi-urban access to loans, services, training and building materials in order to build their own homes. The families receive weekly instalments of MXP 200 (USD 14.80) with MXP 165 (USD 13.00) covering the cost of construction materials while the remaining MXP 35 (USD 1.80) covers services such as access to consultants, fixed material prices for 70 weeks, one year of material storage, home delivery of materials and improvement of public schools’ infrastructure. Under the Community Blockers programme, people enrolled on the Patrimonio Hoy scheme are taught how to make the materials to build their houses. CEMEX provides training, equipment and supplies for the fabrication of the materials (cement, aggregates and steel rods). People in these communities not only learn new skills but are given the opportunity to pay back the loans by selling surplus materials through CEMEX’s network. As a result of these initiatives, the living conditions of more than one million people have improved. When the company was conferred a UN-HABITAT Business Award earlier this year in New Delhi, India, the selection committee said: “In the face of a major housing crisis in Mexico, Patrimonio Hoy presents an innovative scheme that allows low-income families to build their homes through micro-credit saving mechanisms, coupled with access to affordable materials and technical assistance.”

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