CWR-Habitat Building New Homes in Haiti

LEOGANE, HAITI (June 22, 2011) – Covenant World Relief and Habitat for Humanity have entered into an agreement that will fund new houses here for families of this city left homeless by the devastating earthquake in January 2010.

Léogâne was the quake’s epicenter and more than 90 percent of the city was flattened, leaving the more than 120,000 residents homeless. The problem of homelessness was further exacerbated by the unfulfilled need for clean water and proper sanitation, leading to even more disease and death.

The project will provide upgradable shelters for 450 families. It will do more than build new homes – it also will create jobs and provide training.

These permanent shelters have a concrete foundation with plywood walls and a tin roof. As families save money, the homes can be added on to with concrete bricks. The homes will include a rainwater catchment system, water storage, latrines and a sanitation system. Each home costs just $4,200.

The Habitat upgradable shelter is a permanent housing solution that features a timber frame and pressure-treated plywood sidewalls with a concrete perimeter foundation, tin roof and front porch. The structure is built so that concrete blocks can be added later, as a family’s situation improves.

Habitat and CWR have committed to working in coming years to help people reclaim their lives. The needs are still daunting. Displaced families crowd into urban tent cities, survive in their own makeshift shelters, or seek refuge in other parts of the country.

Despite the hardships they’ve faced, the Haitians are incredibly resilient,” says Dave Husby, CWR executive director. “They are starting to reopen businesses even in front of collapsed buildings, and families are working hard to clear the rubble of what was once their homes.”  He adds, “Their faith in God also remains strong.”

The project already is providing hope. Not long ago, Marie Nicole Sanon and her three children lived in a tent made of scraps of bed sheets. “After the earthquake, I thought life was over and I would never own a decent place to live with my children,” she said.

As with other projects developed by Habitat and CWR, the recipients of the assistance also contribute to the construction of their homes.

The new project embodies one of CWR’s core values: partnering with others. Partnership empowers local ministry, increases local involvement, reduces overhead. By working with others, CWR is able to leverage human and financial resources to have a more significant impact.

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