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According to the latest study on affordable housing conducted by McKinsey, it is estimated that 330 million urban households live in substandard housing or are over-burdened by housing costs. By 2025, it is expected that 1.6 billion urban people will not have access to safe and adequate housing. At least 200 million in the developing world live in slums. In the United States, the European Union, Japan, and Australia alone, 60 million people are estimated to be financially overburdened by housing costs. The challenge is relevant both in developed and developing countries, which is why LafargeHolcim is using its global reach to address the affordable housing gap.  


Our Approach

LafargeHolcim has identified the affordable housing market as a key driver of growth and innovation. We are committed to the social mission but also believe that our initiatives should be financially sustainable and scalable. Through this commitment, all of our Affordable Housing initiatives have achieved profitability and we are looking to scale our solutions further.


Our Solutions

Working closely with our prospective customers, we have developed a series of products and services that are tailored to meet their needs. By providing the customers with a complete solution, we come to understand their needs better and diversify our impact.


Work With Us

We are an innovative team with a strong social vision and a desire to grow our network. If you would like to learn how to get involved in our mission, please do not hesitate to contact us at:


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The challenge: enabling low-income individuals to finance the their home construction and renovation

Our response: an integrated microfinance program for affordable housing

  • Access to microcredits via our partnerships with specialist institutions such as the French Development Agency (AFD), the International Finance Corporation (IFC).
  • Technical assistance from dedicated LafargeHolcim advisors, providing plans and budgets catalogs, free construction training, and mobile apps for tablets to facilitate the process.
  • Access to our network of partner retailers through which customers have access to high quality building materials and supplies.
  • Construction solutions such as modular housing templates for bit-by-bit construction, a concrete blocks range, and roofing solutions.

Earth-Cement Building Solutions

The challenge: constructing sustainable and affordable housing using energy efficient alternatives to burnt clay bricks

Our response: our R&D teams developed Durabric, an innovative building material that combines LafargeHolcim cement with earth-based raw materials.

  • The Durabric can be manufactured locally, using widely available raw materials.
  • The finished, stabilized blocks are more weather resistant and have better thermal qualities than conventional clay bricks.
  • The Durabric is more environmentally friendly because the blocks do not need to be fired, leading to significant reductions in the burning of fossil fuels and the burning of wood, which is the source of major deforestation in many countries.

Slum Renovation

The challenge: delivering quality building materials to hard-to-reach neighborhoods

Our response: we deliver our cement and ready-mix concrete to the heart of slums for the construction of individual housing, using tailored packaging and logistics.

  • In the slums of Argentina, we partner with third-party drivers who own small trucks to ensure daily deliveries in small quantities of bagged cement to informal retailers. Individual builders benefit from local access to quality building materials.
  • In the informal settlement of Shivaji Nagar, in Mumbai (India), LafargeHolcim supplies concrete and mortar in small packages that can be transported by rickshaw. 
  • In the favela of Rocinha, in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), we deliver our concrete products and train residents in construction techniques.
Solutions, mass affordable housing

Solutions for Collective Social Housing

The challenge: to better serve governments and developers looking for new solutions to build large-scale collective housing schemes faster and improve their quality, attractiveness, and sustainability. 

Our response: we offer NGOs and governments in mature and emerging countries packages including:

  • Preliminary studies with designers and decision-makers to identify and test optimized construction systems in collaboration with our LafargeHolcim Research Center and local laboratories.
  • Our ready-mix concrete and other building material solutions.

Solutions for Sanitation

The challenge: a lack of access to affordable and durable sanitation facilities, including toilet systems and sewage pipelines, which has long term impacts on the health of low-income populations. In India alone, 160 million sanitation units are required. 

Our response: we have developed pre-designed, concrete-made sanitation units that are sold across four centers in India.


Additional Initiatives

At LafargeHolcim Affordable Housing, we believe a collaborative effort is required to scale solutions in the sector and we have created several initiatives that promote this approach. Through these actions, LafargeHolcim have expanded our network and forged partnerships that have been essential in increasing our impact.

The Housing Microfinance Academy

The Housing Microfinance Academy

LafargeHolcim, in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD), created the Housing Microfinance Academy in order to develop the capabilities of microfinance banks to offer housing loan schemes for low-income customers. LafargeHolcim brings expertise on technical aspects of building construction to assist borrowers in constructing safe, more affordable homes. The Housing MicrofinanceAcademy has already held forums in India, Brazil, and Nigeria and is strengthening the partnerships between private sector stakeholders in these countries.  

The Affordable Housing Hub

The Affordable Housing Hub was initiated by LafargeHolcim with the support of the founding partners to establish a knowledge sharing platform for the affordable housing sector. Through this platform, we at LafargeHolcim Affordable Housing, are able to connect with other industry practitioners and promote a collaborative approach to solve the sector challenges.