Dominican Republic

#Mots-clés : Dernière mise à jour le 7 June 2019






In the Dominican Republic the total public debt of US $ 8.327 million (2008), equivalent to 25.4% of GDP. It is mainly external debt vis-à-vis States, Venezuela and the European Union. (1)

Few people know or remember it, but it’s in the Dominican Republic in April 1984, took place one of the first anti-International Monetary Fund uprisings (IMF). Two years after the signing of an agreement between the Blanco government and the financial institution, the popular classes, to the worsening social situation, had rebelled. A rebellion repressed in blood. More than a hundred people had died. (2)

According to Pedro Franco, “multilateral agencies and the various agencies and institutions related to the implementation of neo-liberal policies have held for many years the discourse that the Dominican Republic had a low external debt levels, a large economic stability, (…) which is why they advised him not only external debt, the removal of trade barriers to give the free fields to free trade agreements, and (…) the privatization of the great heritage of public companies (…) “(Alai, 29-01-04). Successive governments have faithfully implemented the recommendations of international donors immersing thousands of Dominicans living in poverty. (2)






In January 2010, he was proclaimed a new constitution of the Dominican State.
  • In Article 51, the new Constitution explicitly recognizes the social function of property
  • Section 59 provides for the right to housing as a fundamental element.

Despite these advances in the Constitution, it has remained a tendency to criminalize families who built their homes peacefully on state or private land without provision for a title. Even when President Danilo Medina filed a diploma national strategy to make major reforms in the registration code, I was quickly confronted with the real estate industry, so the project was abandoned .


It appears from the studies cited UNDP and other institutions, the fact that most families built their houses without land titles, explains that they live under the constant threat of eviction, eviction and why are so prevalent in the country .The Dominican Republic ratified the 1978 Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). Also established the constitutional right to housing. However, forced evictions continued to increase in the intervention of the Dominican government and security forces for private plaintiffs, who was assigned complain to international organizations such as the ICESCR Committee. The Dominican State intervenes not only allowing expulsions, but leaves his fate to the evicted families, violate the agreements and promesses.Contradictoire in 2013 the Chamber of Deputies of the Dominican Republic adopted at first reading the amendment of the Criminal Code (Articles 250- 252) where families live on land occupied without title, under the pretext of being a product of “criminalized invasion and occupation of the property.”

With which the Dominican Government would not only confirming the violation of the agreements listed above, but especially to renounce their obligation to guarantee the right to adequate housing for all families and act contrary to the ICESCR and its own constitution in Article 59 . Although the government from 2012 to 2016 established a National Commission on housing and the other for titration quickly could hardly imagine achieving their goals. First, the president canceled his titration announced strategy; Second, the actions of these committees are limited to the level of the state, ie, are compatible with the neoliberal vision of privatization of public assets, and no actions involving private land, is the majority of the population.



Forced evictions are frequent and recurrent in the Dominican Republic. Most evictions are executed without due process or consultation with the communities affected in order to make lands available for the construction of infrastructure, tourist estates or industrial complexes. The lack of deeds and security of tenure, which is estimated to affect more than 50 percent of the population (75% in Santo Domingo Province), are among the main arguments used by the authorities to justify forced evictions.

Police violence and excessive use of force during evictions are common in the Dominican Republic. For example, on 15 October 2011 more than 20 people were injured and required hospital treatment during an eviction in Brisas del Este. Many others suffered the effects of the teargas, including children and pregnant women.

(Source : Amnesty International – 2013)



  • WORK CAMPS organized by Habitat for Humanity (pictures)

Social and economic aspects


For the 2002 National Census, the Dominican Republic had 2,445,313 housing units, of which almost 11% were Inoccupated 44% are poor or defective. 46% are in urban areas and 41% in rural areas. It also includes the existence of 21.962 and 138.330 pieces or barracks room in which people live. According to the census, 28% of households pay rent and fees paid 10.7% of homes purchased on credit.

The 2010 census puts the QTY of houses in a little over three million units. Of the total households, 74% are single; 11% apartments; 7% parts or rooming houses, while almost 23,000 families live in barracks and nearly 70,000 in their business.

According to the Associated Builders and Housing Developers (ACOPROVI) for 2012 32.5% of households pay rent.

The housing deficit has been increasing at an alarming rate over time: A 2001 study estimated that the housing deficit in Dominican Republic exceeds 600,000 housing units, and that the country Necessita about 50,000 new housing each year! In 2009, UNDP the United Nations Development Programme this deficit stood at 633 000 441 000 quantitative and qualitative. To reduce the housing deficit 2011-2016 an annual investment between 2.7 and 2.4% of GDP, and between 12 and 14% of the national budget would be required. State investment for that year was below 0.5%. 296 billion dollars would be required. Estimated at 50% the population without land titles where he built his home, and 55-65% families have built houses without permission. According to the report of the National Housing Institute, INVI, between August 2004 and March 2010 the state built by that institution 7000 541 housing units, mostly to respond to emergency situations. The current President Danilo Medium promised to build 100,000 homes in 2012-2016.


More than 500,000 homes do not meet adequate housing requirements: no kitchen (75% in urban areas) or have a kitchen outside the house (mostly rural).



In the production of housing, the private and public sectors formal hardly represent up to 25%. The formal private sector accounts for only 5% on average of the solutions, but most families can not access this system for economic reasons. For its part, the social production of housing, traditionally called informal sector, estimated to represent more than 75% of the construction process of the dwelling. However, the private housing sector has always had the support of the state, so that did not have unions and institutions of civil society and community organizations that promote alternatives nonprofit and often developed through self-management and the contribution labor of their own families involved.


Dominican legislation on housing is governed by Law No 5892 creating the National Housing Institute; Non Act 1832 which instructs the General Directorate of National Property, and the Law No 5574 creating the National Institute of Aid and Housing.

Institutional responsibilities for government housing policy are not clearly defined, as there is no regulatory body with legal institutional coordinate and regulate the housing sector, resulting in the dispersion of actions. Legally, the National Housing Institute (INVI) is the body responsible for formulating and implementing policies, but in practice, agencies such as the National Housing Bank (BNV), the National Institute of Aid and Housing (INAVI) The Supervisory Office for Public Works, National Heritage, the Ministry of Public Works and Communications, Office of Supervising Engineers of the state, municipalities and the Dominican Municipal League, the Dominican Agrarian Institute, Presidential Plan and Cabinet Social and other public entities have responsibilities in the sector, limiting the country’s ability to deliver a consistent housing policy.

Some of these entities:

  • NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HOUSING (INVI) is the body responsible for formulating the overall housing plan in its rural and urban areas; is responsible for the execution of this plan, and within the framework of its activities is to provide guidance, advice and technical assistance, to the extent that may be necessary, to any person or group of people, primarily those formed cooperatives (of fact or law) that request and within the economic possibilities of the Institute. On the other hand, is responsible for promoting the development of programs in urban and rural housing through the collaboration of the future occupants of the houses, following the principles of self-help and mutual aid. Similarly is responsible for signaling the executive branch cases in which it will proceed to expropriation for public utility, necessary for the implementation of housing programs, in accordance with the laws on expropriation.
  • DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL PROPERTY: This law states that the Directorate General of National Assets, in addition to carrying the register of state assets, is responsible for ensuring the conservation of movable and immovable property. It is also responsible for executing the sale of land registered in the name of the Dominican State under management. In 2001, the government announced the 93-02 decree, by which ordered the General Directorate of National Assets proceed to implement nationwide a “National Plan Land Titling Dominican State”. To this end, we developed a national campaign to promote the plan, but in practice not implemented. The truth is that National Assets has no legal authority to grant degrees, nor the other institutions mentioned in the decree in question, since only the Superior Land Court has this power, as established by Law 108-05 on Land Registry. This initiative of the government of that time became a bad joke, generating illusions in thousands of low-income people, by their limited knowledge they gave credit to a document issued without legal base, whose sole purpose was to increase patronage the figure of the President for his political project. But programs like this are repeated again and again, not giving solution to the problem of land titling of people who have raised their housing and improved over time. This situation intensifies the problem, as there is no recognition of property rights acquired by prescription in time, as established the Dominican Civil Code.
  • ROLE OF THE NATIONAL BANK OF HOUSING (BNV): As part of the transformation of the financial sector in the Dominican Republic, the Monetary and Financial Law 183-02 passed in 2002 changed the role of the BNV, regulatory and multisectoral building supervisor and second floor. This means that the bank becomes a financial institution dedicated to providing resources to the productive sectors of the housing sector, promotion of a secondary mortgage market and the promotion of financial and capital markets. The original spirit with which this institution was founded -adjust and monitor savings and loan associations, so that low-income people could access the mortgage market to finance their viviendas- disappears to engage in financing large capital productive real estate, as evidenced by the increase in assets by transferring BNV land, buildings and liquids for development of housing programs in urban resources. Dwellings that can not access most of the population, the high cost of the same, so that the Government continues, through its institutions, financing the sectors of power, ignoring its responsibility to develop policies that benefit most of the Dominican people, who are the least resources.

Cultural aspects – Religious – Symbolic

Environmental aspects

Bibliography & Sitography

  1. Alianza Internacional de Habitantes, “Políticas alternativas de vivienda en América latina y el Caribe”, 2013 coord Paul Maquet Makedonski.
  2. CADTM – Comité pour l’Annulation de la Dette du Tiers Monde, “République dominicaine : l’ajustement au bout du fusil”, article de Frédéric Lévêque.



According to The Urban Popular Network, composed of neighborhood organizations and communities, including COOPHABITAT, COPADEBA, MCCU, CODECOC (1)

  • PROPOSED FUND OF HOUSING FINANCE : presented the draft Housing Act, Habitat and Human Settlements proposes the creation of a state fund for financing affordable housing and land acquisition where families have built their homes. The bill provides that the instruments and props on financing for performing actions on housing shall credit, subsidies and incentives for that purpose allocate the central government and municipalities, as well as saving individuals, aid international and other contributions from the public, social and private sectors. The aim is that these options meet the housing needs of the different sectors of the population, remained priorities that are experiencing poverty and social housing producers.


  • MCCU :