Overcoming the Housing Shortage for Mexico’s Poor Families Living in Rural Communities

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Overcoming the Housing Shortage for Mexico’s Poor Families Living in Rural Communities

Hábvita joins the Business Call to Action with a commitment to secure decent housing and jobs

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 12:15pm

CONTENT: Press Release

New York, May 11, 2016 /3BL Media/ – Habitacion y vida Hábvita (Hábvita), a Mexico-based housing construction company serving the country’s rural communities, has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to helping more than 11,500 families secure decent homes, creating 6,000 new temporary jobs, and expanding the company’s presence to at least 23 Mexican states – all by 2018.

“Decent housing for poor families living in rural communities is not only about having a roof over one’s head. It’s also about having a place where families can grow strong; where health is abundant; where young people can study and prepare for the future; and where parents can pass on their values,” said Alfonso Serrano, Hábvita’s Chief Executive Officer. “Hábvita’s commitment to those at the base of the economic pyramid (BOP) is the essence of our work and we are pleased to have our inclusive business recognized by the Business Call to Action.”

Mexico suffers from an acute housing shortage, especially among low-income families. At the same time, the Inter-American Development Bank estimates that the country’s housing market for the BOP totals US$40 billion. Mexican families spend on average 24 percent of their income on housing – more than on anything other than food. Yet few home development firms specifically focus on families living in rural communities.

Historically, poor families build their own houses with little or no assistance or technical advice – a process known as auto-production. Since these homes are built as one-offs, materials can be expensive. As a result, it can take a long time – at high cost – to build a house that lacks the minimal structural capacity to be safe, strong and durable.

Unlike other auto-production companies, Hábvita builds houses where their customers live or own land. The company has established a competitive edge by organizing families in order to build several houses simultaneously, thereby lowering materials costs and generating economies of scale. Hábvita makes bulk purchases directly from the factory or wholesale supplier to eliminate intermediary costs, and all houses are designed to withstand natural disasters. Hábvita also helps its customers to secure credit, affording them the opportunity to pay off their homes in three to ten years; this includes helping to secure government subsidies.

“Hábvita’s commitment exemplifies the ability of inclusive businesses to capitalize on market opportunities in order to serve poor communities and help realize the 2030 global development agenda,” said Paula Pelaez, BCtA’s Programme Manager. “We are pleased to welcome them as a member of the Business Call to Action.”

For further information:

Business Call to Action: Tatiana Bessarabova at tatiana@businesscalltoaction.org

Hábvita: Alfonso Serrano at aserrano@Hábvita.com

Membership in the Business Call to Action does not constitute a partnership with its funding and programme partners, UNDP or any UN agency.

About Business Call to Action (BCtA): Launched at the United Nations in 2008, the Business Call to Action (BCtA) aims to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that offer the potential for both commercial success and development impact. BCtA is a unique multilateral alliance between key donor governments including the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)UK Department for International DevelopmentUS Agency for International Development, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Finland, and the United Nations Development Programme — which hosts the secretariat. For more information, please visit www.businesscalltoaction.org or on Twitter at @BCtAInitiative.

About Hábvita: Hábvita is a bottom of the pyramid (“BoP”) housing company. Hábvita serves such market through “self-build projects” that allow low-income families to secure a decent home in their own communities strengthening their physical, financial and social capital. The company’s mission is to “Build homes that improve lives,” always putting our clients in the center of all our decisions to offer them the best possible service. Hábvita builds affordable, high quality, tailored-made housing solutions and complementary infrastructure. The houses are designed to support progressive building and the company offers basic services and environmental technologies where possible.

Hábvita has more than 8 years of experience working in rural communities developing strong relationships with its clients by establishing local offices and supporting local small material suppliers and creating local jobs.

The company is currently working in eight states, and has worked in 13 states of the Mexican Republi. Hábvita aims to work across the country in the years ahead.