Habitat’s five-year recovery program on target to serve 50,000 families
ATLANTA (Jan. 6, 2012) - Two years after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, Habitat for Humanity’s five-year disaster recovery program has helped more than 40,000 families or approximately 200,000 individuals in Port-au-Prince, Léogâne and Cabaret.
As part of its effort to provide 50,000 families with pathways to permanent housing, Habitat has distributed to-date more than 24,500 emergency shelter kits with partner organizations, constructed more than 4,000 transitional or upgradeable shelters, conducted 12,000 house damage assessments, repaired or rehabbed more than 350 houses, and constructed 150 permanent core houses as part of its permanent housing community in Léogâne.
“Habitat has a long-term view of its work in Haiti. We are committed to remaining in the country for years to come and reaching more families in desperate need of simple and decent permanent shelter,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “While our earthquake recovery program has focused largely on temporary housing solutions, our primary focus over the next three years will shift to partnering with Haitian families to provide permanent housing.”
The Léogâne development has the potential to house up to 500 families, or approximately 2,500 individuals. Volunteers constructed 100 core homes in one week as part of Habitat’s 28th annual Jimmy & Rosalynn Carter Work Project. An additional 50 Habitat homes were built in partnership with Haven, an Irish non-profit. Habitat will construct another 100 houses in 2012 with more to be constructed, pending additional funding.
“We are extremely grateful for the support Habitat has received from donors, supporters and volunteers, without whom our recovery efforts in Haiti would not be possible,” said Mark Andrews, vice president of Haiti recovery for Habitat for Humanity International. “Our hope is to be able to help even more families through the continued generosity of people who share our commitment to Haiti.”
Habitat is also helping to build long-term economic growth and sustainability by training and hiring Haitians through Habitat Haiti’s main office and Habitat Resource Centers. Approximately 700 local job opportunities have been created by Habitat’s recovery program and nearly 80 percent of its full-time central staff is Haitian. In addition, Habitat has trained approximately 4,450 individuals in construction techniques, financial literacy, damage assessments, disaster risk reduction and business development.
Additionally, since land tenure remains the biggest roadblock to reconstruction, Habitat is leading a coalition supporting land tenure reform. Land ownership was nebulous before the earthquake, and now it is even more of a challenge. Building permanent homes on land that is not properly deeded is not an option for Habitat.
To address this challenge, Habitat has created and fostered the Haiti Property Law Working Group, a diverse coalition of Haitian government officials, lawyers, academics and business leaders, along with representatives of the World Bank, USAID, the Inter-American Development Bank, the government of France, the Organization of American States, Architecture for Humanity, the Clinton Global Initiative, foundations, development partners and other nongovernmental organizations engaged in reconstruction and development. The goal of the Haiti Property Law Working Group is to support the government of Haiti in the recovery effort through the appropriate development of property for job creation, wealth creation, housing and other purposes by defining each step of the current processes applicable to land transactions and recommending improvements to be incorporated in future policies.
The earthquake damaged nearly 190,000 houses in Haiti, of which 105,000 were completely destroyed. Of the more than 2 million affected survivors, 550,000 are still displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration.
About Habitat for Humanity Haiti
Habitat for Humanity has been at work in Haiti for 27 years and has provided housing solutions through a variety of initiatives including new home construction, progressive building, home repairs and improvements. Habitat also builds capacity in construction skills, disaster risk reduction and financial literacy, and works in coordination with community and government agencies. For more information, visit Habitat.org/Haiti .
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 500,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org , or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat  or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org  or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog .