Housing Statistics

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a number of articles decrying the housing crisis in Haiti. For my part, I find myself struck by some of the statistics that capture the magnitude of the crisis. These stats were gathered by the Centre for Recherche, de Réflexion, de Formation et d’Action Sociale (CERFAS).

This first graph shows the evolution of camp populations since July, 2010 — about five months after the earthquake.

CERFAS notes that these numbers can be projected to suggest that approximately 311,000 people (or around 74,000 families) will still be living in the camps at the end of 2012.

This next chart shows the promise versus actual number of units delivered, based on the solutions that various aid agencies registered. This chart indicates that there was clearly far more interest in building Temporary Shelters (called T-Shelters), than any permanent housing.

CERFAS also notes that the combination of these two data sets suggests that, between July 2010 and April 2012, 256,000 families left the camps, but fewer than 44,000 families received some kind of support for their permanent or transitional relocation.

In terms of dollars, this table explains the costs associated with each type of building.

Housing Type Units Average unit cost Estimated investment
Temporary Shelter (18m2) 109,070 US $4,226 US $460,929,820
Repair 13,198 US $5,465 US $72,127,070
Construction of permanent houses (~32.5m2) 4,887 US $10,000 US $48,870,000

Finally, in order to get a sense of the gap between need and delivery of repair and construction, here are some statistics about the number of houses damaged in the earthquake. These stats are based on an assessment carried out by the Ministry for Public Works, Transportation and Communication (MTPTC), in cooperation with international agencies. They assessed 413,784 houses and categorized them in three buckets:

  • Red: houses needed to be demolished/rebuilt
  • Yellow: houses that needed to be repaired before they were considered inhabitable
  • Green: inhabitable

Clearly, based on the stats above, the work to rebuild has only just begun. Only about 12% of the houses that need repair have been addressed, and less than 6% of the houses requiring demolition/reconstruction have been matched by construction of a new permanent house.

Despite these gaps, many families have returned to houses that are damaged or which threaten to collapse. CERFAS cites that 64% of the red houses and 85% of the yellow houses are currently occupied.