The Housing Opportunity at the Bottom of the Pyramid

Housing for All” is the goal of Ashoka partners

Supply and value chains for the bottom of the economic pyramidThe concrete supply system is just a part of the larger construction value chain. All links in the chain are necessary for a dynamic and sustainable housing marketplace, even for those at the bottom of the economic pyramid. We are proud to offer solutions for curing the world’s poorest concrete as we work to improve the living condition of the poor.

We are also excited when other thought leaders like Ashoka founder Bill Drayton suggest:
If you add up the materials to be produced, distributed and sold, the loans for mortgages, improvements or construction, the jobs and income generated, the land purchased, infrastructure to be built – all the related products and services to meet the affordable housing gap globally – it amounts to a multi-trillion dollar opportunity for multiple areas of employment and economic growth.

There are some very informative blog stories that have been shared during the past month. We credit a group called the Next Billion for putting this information on the web.

Here is a discussion on the size of the market and the opportunities for enterprise success among those at the bottom of the pyramid.

“A house is more than a roof overhead – it gives a sense of security, empowerment, and hope…” This is the opening statement of an article concerning the extra benefits of having a home away from the slums.

Without finding ways to solve land ownership issues there are significant roadblocks to housing. But there are stories of the poor joining the formal economy as legal homeowners and community members, that should be studied.

In Brazil, Colombia and India there has been work to fix a housing value chain that is broken. Here is a link to some ideas for building strong alliances with all the stakeholders in the housing sector. We believe that the concrete supply chain is a niche within this larger value chain and that it is broken as well.

Here is a blog post reviewing the types of BOP housing sometimes called: “self-building,” “incremental construction,””progressive housing,” or “home improvements.”

We thank those who have shared their thoughts and experiences on home building for those at the bottom of the pyramid. We join with other forward thinking groups in an effort to insure that the foundations of home construction are completely trustworthy. We reach out to others to share in this effort to fix the chains that bind down those at the bottom. Together we can enhance and expand the opportunities for all of us on the planet.


About cementtrust

I am a director with Cement Trust and passionate about improving cement-based production in the poorest nations of the world.
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