Urban Fold

Uneven Haitian Rebuild Leaves Many Behind

Despite billions of dollars in reconstruction aid, with no overarching housing policy, Haiti's recovery from a devastating earthquake in 2010 has become a protracted humanitarian crisis, especially for hundreds of thousands remaining in tent cities.

Deborah Sontag explores the uneven Haitian rebuilding efforts two and a half years after a devastating earthquake struck the poverty-afflicted island country, and finds that "the most obvious, pressing need - safe, stable housing for all displaced people - remains unmet." 

Sontag reveals that despite some permanent rebuilding efforts, a significant portion of Haiti's shelter reconstruction budget has been spent on "small-scale temporary solutions," such as one-room transitional shelters and rent subsidies. 

"In the absence of an overarching housing policy, Haiti's shelter problem has been tackled unsystematically, in a way that has favored rural over urban victims and homeowners over renters because their needs were more easily met. Many families with the least resources have been neglected unless they happened to belong to a tent camp, neighborhood or vulnerable population targeted by a particular program," writes Sontag. 

Full Story: Years After Haiti Quake, Safe Housing Is a Dream for Many

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