Clinton, Martelly Launch Housing Project in Haiti

The homes will provide shelter and boost the nation’s economy.

Posted: 06/16/2011 05:10 PM EDT
Bill Clinton Michel Martelly

About 1.5 million Haitians were left homeless by last year’s destructive earthquake and the majority of them have been forced to reside in temporary settlement camps.


On the campaign trail and during his short time as president, Michel Martelly promised to make permanent housing a priority in the nation. To that end, on Wednesday Martelly and former U.S. president and special U.N. envoy to Haiti Bill Clinton launched a housing program aimed at providing homes for thousands of people displaced by the quake. The initiative will help boost economic recovery in the nation.


The program will produce homes that are earthquake proof and able to sustain strong hurricane winds. Many of the houses, which were chosen through a Building Back Better Communities global competition, are made of steel, cinder blocks and concrete and the costs range from $10,000 to $35,000. They are expected to last at least 70 years.


“What we saw at this housing exposition and with this housing project is that if we do this housing properly, it will lead to whole new industries being started in Haiti, creating thousands and thousands of new jobs and permanent housing,” said Clinton, who also co-chairs the much-criticized Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, reports The Montreal Gazette. This “means there will be many more people able to afford new houses.”

(Photo: Swoan Parker/Reuters)