- Habitat began working in Haiti in 1984.
- Individuals served in FY2021 – 5,475
- Through new construction – 165
- Through incremental building – 5,260
- Through repairs – 50
- Volunteers hosted in FY2020 – 148
Capital city -- Port-au-Prince
Population -- 11.2 million
Life expectancy – 65.6 years
Unemployment rate – 40.6%
Below poverty line – 60%
The housing need in Haiti
Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the Americas. According to the World Bank, more than half of its population lives in poverty, and approximately 24% is in extreme poverty. Political instability, food shortages, unemployment, a lack of basic infrastructure, and disasters have kept most Haitians trapped in a cycle of poverty for generations.
In the last decade, the need for housing has increased dramatically every year. The 2010 earthquake destroyed the homes of 1.5 million people. In 2016, another 140,000 were left without shelter after Hurricane Matthew hit. More recently, in August 2021, an earthquake destroyed or damaged more than 130,000 homes.
How Habitat addresses the need
On August 14, 2021, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck Haiti’s southwestern peninsula causing significant damage in the region, including the cities of Les Cayes, Jérémie, and Anse-à-Veaux. Nearly 53,000 homes were destroyed, and another 77,000 houses were severely damaged, according to Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency. Immediately after the earthquake, we deployed a team to assess the shelter needs in the impacted area and create response options for early recovery and reconstruction.
As in previous responses to hurricanes and earthquakes in the country, we partner with other organizations to address the vital and urgent needs of families, while helping them on their path to permanent housing. We build on our experience following our responses to major disasters. These included the massive 2010 earthquake that saw Habitat rebuilding and repairing devastated communities. In 2016, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Habitat repaired severely damaged homes, built new ones, and provided training to local masons to improve home construction techniques to reduce vulnerability.
Major barriers to land tenure in Haiti include a lack of official land documentation, low exchange value of lands, and a lack of an efficient land information system. In early 2019, Habitat Haiti launched a program in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development to help households in three municipalities prove tenure security and increase the number of parcels registered in the land administration systems.
Housing solutions for seniors
In Haiti, older people are vulnerable to poverty, homelessness, and diseases due to a lack of governmental and societal support. Habitat Haiti is working in low-income, rural communities in the southwest to provide older people with access to safe, decent, and affordable housing with latrines and water collection tanks. In 2021, Habitat constructed 15 homes for seniors and plans to construct 15 more in 2022.
What you can do
Donate at https://www.habitat.org/donate/?link=802 and select “Designate your donation to a location or cause”.
We welcome tithe partnerships with Habitat affiliates in the U.S. to help build houses. Write HAITI on checks sent to: Habitat for Humanity International, Attn: Affiliate Tithe, 322 West Lamar St., Americus, GA 31709