Housing poverty in Mexico

Fighting growing slums and inequalities
  • 61,250 people served in FY18 61,250 people served in FY18
  • 1,803 volunteers hosted in FY18 1,803 volunteers hosted in FY18
  • Projects: construction, community development Projects: construction, community development

We started working in the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Hidalgo back in 1987 to help alleviate housing poverty in Mexico, focusing first on the Dexthi Alberto and San Pedro Capula communities.

Two years later, our local office in Mexico was established. In September 2014, we celebrated our 25th anniversary and had served 46,000 families throughout the country. Today, we work in 19 states through 25 local offices, having an impact in over 650 communities.

Inequalities, lack of homes and slums

More than 59.8 million Mexicans do not have the economic means to buy or build adequate housing. Of the employed…

More than 59.8 million Mexicans do not have the economic means to buy or build adequate housing. Of the employed population (about 1/3 of Mexicans), 7 million earn less than the minimum wage, and 10 million make less than two times the minimum wage per day.

This means that more than half of Mexico’s employed population makes less than £20 a month, yet these workers support half of the nation’s families. Through 2015, the demand for housing will be 3.2 million homes. The total housing backlog is 9 million households, representing 31.1% of occupied private dwellings in the country.

Of this population:

  • Over 500,000 households are in overcrowded conditions (with two or more families living in the same place)
  • Over 1 million houses are built with walls of recycled material such as cardboard or plastic
  • Over 7 million houses are built with walls and roofs made of sheet metal or adobe
  • Read more about housing poverty in Mexico 
a beneficiary family in mexico

Main facts & figures

  • Capital: Mexico City
  • Main country facts: Mexico is a country between the U.S. and Central America that’s known for its Pacific and Gulf of Mexico beaches and its diverse landscape of mountains, deserts and jungles.
  • Population –  circa 129.1 million
  • Urbanisation – 81.3%
  • Life expectancy – 72.32 years
  • Unemployment – 3.49%
  • Poverty line – 41.9%

Home building & training

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We provide help through training, building materials, and technical and administrative assistance. Selected families invest hundreds of hours of "sweat equity" constructing their own houses and those of their future neighbours, with support from volunteers.

The families’ monthly housing repayments are deposited into our Fund for Humanity, a not-for-profit microfinance fund which receives support from fundraising activities and donations. All Habitat families are trained through workshops that explain how the programme works, manage their finances and train in new skills to find jobs.

Volunteering in Mexico

hammer construction icon
Volunteers are a very important part of our organization.

We encourage diverse sectors of Mexican society to join us in construction brigades to help families in need of better housing. A brigade can be a life-changing experience.

It’s an opportunity to gain a greater understanding of development issues and to learn more about housing needs.

Natural disaster relief

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Our local team is very sensitive about the needs of families who have suffered the consequences of a natural disaster. We have supported families in the states of Tabasco, Chiapas and Monterrey. Right now, the organization is supporting families in the state of Guerrero affected by hurricanes Manuel and Ingrid.

These families are building new houses or improving their homes with help from the Tlapa affiliate, located in the mountain area of the state.