Opening the way for Housing in Haiti

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land title housing and haiti housing problemEver wonder what the hold up is to delivering quality housing to Haitians?

Land and housing titles.

In the past Haiti has been unable to provide security of Land tenure and housing to its residents.

This is not uncommon in many developing nations but has been one of the most significant barriers to housing stock improvements in Haiti.  There is a prevailing thought that the road to prosperity for a developing country developing nation is directly tied to land ownership rights.  If a society lives in perpetual fear of being evicted from the land they are living on, then they have little reason to improve their real property.

The thought therefore requires governments to implement land ownership laws and regulations prior to rebuilding after a disaster.  This is actually a perfect time to implement such policies as much of the rebuilding will be recorded and accounted for in the process.  There seems to be little value in simply building back housing stock if the insecurities continue.  Donors,  are also reluctant to build new housing for the poor if their investment in the community can be thwarted by landowners who simply take back the property and evict the resident.   We have learned that Haiti is undertaking the work necessary to build a land titling program in their nation.  We support this policy in as much as it will provide security for recipients of new housing stock.

There are however consequences to this process but we are hopeful the impact will be short lived.  Not much will be done with respect to building back the nation until the policies are implemented and the global community is comfortable that investments in the nations housing stock will be protected.  This unfortunately could take years.  But once complete, the dynamics of home ownership rights change the ability and desire of home owners to take responsibility for ones real property.  In other words we could expect home owners to tend to their homes in ways they never have in the past.  We can expect home owners to build business from their homes and be involved in community development.  These changes will certainly benefit the next generation of Haitians who are born into a stable home environment and are provided opportunities and more importantly the reasons to improve themselves.

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