Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Haiti’s 'Public Housing' Projects Overlook Poorest

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Jan 20 2014 (Haiti Grassroots Watch) - Named after a famous Haitian singer, the Lumane Casimir Village sits in the desert-like plain at the foot of Morne à Cabri and will eventually have 3,000 rental units. About 1,300 are now ready.

The project was financed with 49 million dollars from the Petro-Caribe Fund, money that will eventually have to be paid back to the Venezuelan government.

During the May 16, 2013 inauguration, the president handed out keys to a group of families that had been assembled for the media. But they did not move in. From May to September, nobody actually lived in the apartments. Families only moved in starting in October. In the meantime, many were looted.

“Between 120 and 150 apartments were vandalised,” explained David Odnell of the Unit for the Construction of Housing and Public Buildings (UCLBP), one of three government agencies involved with housing. UCLBP is the supervisor of the site.

More than 50 toilets, and dozens of locks, windows, brackets, bulbs, electrical cables and outlets were stolen. Many apartments were also damaged by would-be thieves who used crowbars and other tools to try to wrench sinks, doors and windows from walls.

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