Patrimonio Hoy is an innovative experiment launched by CEMEX that enabled poor people to pay for services and materials to build their house in a cost effective and timely manner. They started with a philosophy stated in what Hector Ureta said, “the realization that we stood a chance to have a real impact on people’s lives. We view people not just as consumers but as human beings. . .”
Patrimonio Hoy realized key issues lingering the housing sector in the Mexican society. Two-thirds of the 24 million units were worth less than $38,000 each and half of all new homes built each year were self-built. CEMEX estimated that 16 million self-built homes in Mexico and projected that this segment added 2.2 million new rooms each year. Thus the key issues that CEMEX realized that there was lack of savings in the low income households and also limited access to financing.
To counter these issues, CEMEX eased up access to micro-financing and did not ask for any financial commitment from its consumers. Patrimonio Hoy also provided letters of recommendation for credit purposes as most of families did not have any credit history. PH realized that most families did not have proper understanding of building and lacked planning skills thus they provided the members with architects who would provide the family with proper floor plans, an itemized materials list and a delivery schedule. CEMEX safeguarded consumer interest by having strict consequences in case some distributor tried short selling it to the consumers or provided with lower quality materials. It was estimated that families outside the PH program used up 30% more cement due to lack of building knowledge. Families also did not have proper storage facility that resulted in loss of material, in most cases PH distributors would deliver the materials at a later date at the request of the family.
Patrimonio Hoy enabled CEMEX create a loyal customer base and earn a good name in the Mexican society. Their program became a...