Public spending intended for housing improvements amounted to about 1% of GDP in 2009 (OECD, 2012c). The objective of these housing programmes is to allow poor families to ameliorate their living conditions by improving the quality of their houses. This includes, for example, by means of replacing dirt floors with cement floors (Piso firme), improving sanitary services (bathrooms, latrines, septic tanks or similar equipment), equipping cooking sites, and reinforcing walls and ceilings. These interventions are reported to have had positive impacts on the health and welfare of the population, especially on children (CONEVAL, 2012).
However, they need to be better targeted, in terms of both final users and the types of needs that the interventions are intended to address.
old age poverty has become an urgent policy concern. in 2007, the Mexican government introduced 70 y mas, a cT programme that aims to provide income support to those over 70 years old who are not eligible to receive an old age or retirement pension. Benefits were initially restricted to residents of rural areas and localities with fewer than 2 500 inhabitants. Since early 2012, however, coverage has been extended to urban areas. By mid-2012, 2.8 million elderly people (around 60% of all eligible individuals) were receiving a monthly flat- rate benefit (non-taxed MxN 500) payable every two months (SEDESoL, 2012). However, 70 y mas overlaps with other transfer programmes also intended to tackle old age poverty, including Apoyo Para Adultos Mayores (itself a component of Oportunidades), Programa de Apoyo Alimentario, Liconsa, Procampo and Acuerdo National para el Campo.