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Holcim and Habitat for Humanity partner to accelerate access to affordable housing

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

  • Advancing Holcim’s positive social impact by accelerating access to affordable housing.
  • Driving an innovative digital platform to renovate homes starting in Mexico.
  • Plans to scale up in Latin America, North America, and Asia Pacific.

Holcim and Habitat for Humanity have entered a partnership to accelerate access to affordable housing driven by an innovative digital platform. Together they are deploying an online affordable housing portal to enable low-income families to access finance as well as building materials and solutions in a safe and seamless way. The first project was rolled out in Mexico and is enabling the affordable renovation of 600 homes in the Bajio and Veracruz regions. The ultimate goal of this partnership is to enable a sustainable and healthy built environment where everyone has a decent place to live.

Holcim and Habitat for Humanity partner to accelerate access to affordable housing

Jan Jenisch, CEO Holcim: “A key pillar of Holcim’s positive social impact is to accelerate access to affordable housing. With today’s rapid urbanisation, we have a key role to play to build more with less to improve living standards for all in a sustainable manner. With over three billion people expected to need affordable housing by 2030, I’m excited to be partnering with Habitat for Humanity to deploy innovative and digital solutions to address this societal need at scale.”

Jonathan Reckford, CEO Habitat for Humanity International: “This novel partnership channels market power and digitalisation to improve living standards for those most in need. It will require an estimated $16 trillion to close the global affordable housing deficit, only $3 trillion of which is estimated to come from governments and nonprofits. Closing this gap becomes possible when the private sector steps into new markets to provide affordable housing products and services. This partnership will highlight the critical role that private sector partners like Holcim can play in increasing access to affordable housing for low-income families.”

The innovative approach piloted in Mexico is enabled by iBUILD®. Through this online affordable housing platform, families can apply for loans from microfinance institutions, reach building suppliers for quotes and services and order high-quality construction materials, including from Holcim’s 25 Disensa retail stores and distributors around Veracruz and Bajio. iBUILD® is among the most recent startups to join Holcim’s unique open innovation ecosystem, including over 800 startups globally, partnering to accelerate innovation in the construction industry.

Building on the learnings from this pilot project in Mexico, Holcim and Habitat for Humanity are planning for further collaborations across the Americas and Asia Pacific. With this partnership, Holcim advances its commitment to contribute CHF 500 million to create positive social impact, cumulative from 2021 to 2030, by leading affordable housing and infrastructure programs, as well as community initiatives on education, health and skill development. In 2021, Holcim invested more than CHF 40 million in social initiatives and contributed to building and renovating more than 3,200 buildings, from houses to schools and hospitals, working closely together with communities from Ecuador to Algeria. Holcim also built Africa’s largest 3D-printed affordable housing project in Kenya, developed by its joint venture 14Trees in partnership with CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution.

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