Expanding affordable housing solutions and basic services to the BoP households in rural Mexico
Habitacion y vida Hábvita (Hábvita), a Mexico-based housing construction company serving the countrys 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 companys presence to at least 23 Mexican states all by 2018.
Mexico suffers from an acute housing shortage, especially among low-income families. At the same time, the Inter-American Development Bank estimates that the countrys 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.