WASHINGTON (July 29, 2010) – Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer of Habitat for Humanity International, will make recommendations today to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs on the next steps in Haiti’s recovery.
Reckford will make several recommendations on how the U.S. government can address the needs in Haiti, including increasing resources to solve community-based land tenure issues; increasing resources for shelter reconstruction activities; and supporting the development of a comprehensive urban development strategy and development plan supported by the government of Haiti and its citizenry.
Reckford will also discuss Haiti’s current shelter crisis and the country’s ongoing housing needs.
“We welcome the opportunity to participate on this panel and to present Habitat’s perspective on shelter recovery in Haiti,” Reckford said. “This is clear evidence that the committee recognizes the critical role shelter will play in the successful rebuilding of Haiti. By working together, we can ensure that as many Haitians as possible have access to safe, decent, affordable homes in the context of the much larger reconstruction effort.”
Habitat for Humanity has been at work in Haiti for 26 years and has provided housing solutions through a variety of initiatives, including new home construction, progressive or incremental building and home repairs and improvements. Habitat also works with communities to help strengthen Haitian capacity in construction skills, disaster risk reduction and financial literacy and works in coordination with community-based organizations and government agencies.
As part of Habitat’s three-fold response to serve 50,000 families affected by the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, Habitat has assembled more than 21,000 emergency shelter kits, conducted more than 2,000 structural damage assessments and is building up to 150 transitional shelters each week. To date, Habitat has built nearly 400 transitional shelters.
Reckford’s testimony can be viewed today beginning at 9:30 a.m. EST at http://www.hcfa.house.gov .
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in 1976, Habitat has built, rehabilitated, repaired or improved more than 350,000 houses worldwide, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1.75 million people. For more information, or to donate or volunteer, visit www.habitat.org .