#Mots-clés : (Urban) Decentralization, Eviction Dernière mise à jour le 7 June 2019






Such debt has three salient features have been taken in the absence of consent of the people – no benefit for this population – the creditors know that. It was under the Duvalier dictatorship regime from 1957 to 1986, the debt began. It amounted in 2010 to USD 0,5Mds.

Haiti has “benefited” from the HIPC Initiative on its debt, a debt forgiveness program for the poorest countries. But it was mainly to cancel unpayable debts that have led the country to suspend its refund. While debt relief is conditioned by the application of a range of neoliberal measures that degrade the lives of a large part of the population, violate their rights to human development and weakens the economies of countries by opening the international competition that local producers are not able to face. The HIPC stopped in Haiti in 2009.

Source: CADTM – Committee for the Abolition of Third World debt, the debt figures in 2012


The housing crisis in Haiti

The housing problem in Haiti has a dual dimension. It is not only related to the current situation but also it lies deep in the same framework of our society. The latter almost based on exclusion. Exclusion manifested by poor distribution of wealth and deprivation of certain basic social services. Many people do not have adequate housing to live. Meanwhile , leaders and leaders of the country do not show sufficiently concerned as to develop genuine social housing programs tailored to the needs of the population. This situation affects many families in the country who continue to stay in deplorable conditions. And it is no exaggeration that some call it a housing crisis.

Since the late 70s, with the establishment of industrial parks in parts of the country particularly in the metropolitan area of Port -au- Prince, the number of internal migrants (the provinces to the city) continued increase. Recall that the city of Port -au- Prince was not built for this surplus of people from other departments. Thus, Haiti generates housing conditions have been very poor. This housing crisis is just take off and is degenerate with the passage of the earthquake of 12 January 2010. The alleged solutions with many projects vis-à -vis the crisis did not give too great results. These projects are only disguise the problem.

We are in a housing crisis ! These are the true words reflect the current situation in Haiti for housing. This crisis affects a large part of the population. And this is not just only the living conditions in the camps, how to move or relocate people to the issue of forced evictions, the housing security, respect for the right of privacy, right to health, the right to property and housing. But it is much deeper and extends several other aspects.

Source : POHDH (1)


The migration of rural populations to the cities

Because the infrastructure is unable to meet the needs of the population living in rural areas or social services come to achieve and each year a large amount of people leave rural areas to invade area metropolitan Port-au-Prince and the main cities of each department. At such sign, the number of students who annually head to the capital to continue their secondary education and / or university, and that in most cases, are forced to crouch in inappropriate areas across the metropolitan region Port-au-Prince. This migration is the result of the centralization of political power and the concentration of basic services in Port-au-Prince. Hence, a shantytowns around through the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. So the Haitian government must implement a set of social policies to address these structural problems. (Source: POHDH) (1)




Since 1987 – Article 22 of the Constitution:

The State recognizes the right of every citizen to decent housing, education, food and social security.

Source: CETIM (publication COHRE)


According to the Haiti Advocacy Working Group (HAWG) The 2010 earthquake seems to have been followed by numerous forced evictions whose sole purpose was not to put people away. Indeed, so-called landowners have begun expelling families living in refugee camps. In 2012, two years after the earthquake, the International Organization for Migration estimates that 20% of the total population still faces threats of eviction. Landowners and their allies often use violence to carry out these forced evictions, which is a gross breach of the Haitian and international law. According to Haitian law, the legal eviction requires the owner to show the court’s legal title and emit a specific order for each occupant. In addition, the Haitian Constitution limits the right to private property if it is “contrary to the public general interest.” The vast majority of evictions taking place in IDP camps around the law and use of force and other coercive methods. In the absence of a comprehensive program for housing, and without employment opportunities, people still living in camps two years after the earthquake have no other opportunities for housing, and have no the financial means to help themselves. (2)


Adjustment of rent control and the land issue

One of the important aspects that should be emphasized in the housing crisis in Haiti is instability and disorder that reigned in the land. Although there is a charge of regulating the land issue, called the National Office of Cadastre (ONACA) institution, it does not prevent that every day there are land disputes in the country. According to the American Convention on Human Rights, everyone has the right to use their property and enjoy. The law states that “No one shall be deprived of his property unless they receive a fair compensation for installation of utilities or in the interest of society as a whole, and in the cases determined by law and on such terms as are prescribed it.” It should be noted that the project stating the Downtown Public Utility will not remain without consequences on the lives of residents (Source: POHDH) (1).




Social and economic aspects



People who live in neighborhoods that usually rent a private toilet house, which grows to their physiological needs in the open air. Therefore, the housing crisis affects several other areas such as: environmental, health … Apart from all this, many neighborhoods, primarily in Port-au-Prince, are high-risk areas. Not to mention the situation of children, pregnant women, people with limited mobility and even the elderly who are still living under tarps in makeshift shelters in the metropolitan area So, we must believe that the housing situation in Haiti is much more complex than previously thought. If the Haitian government does nothing to give a response to this crisis the present generation and those to come will suffer the consequences (Source: POHDH) (1).


The number of slums is increasing around the country. This is one of the factors of this crisis. Without going further into the neighborhoods where you can find the “home” of a single chamber, made with pieces of metal sometimes used private health facility. These dwellings are called “home” and are usually shared more than five (5) people (Source: POHDH) (1).

website is specifically devoted to those who live in tents (following the earthquake of 2012) and continue to advocate for their right to get a decent affordable housing :


Interest for SOCIAL HOUSING is tangible in Haiti since the fifties. The Board of Directors of the Workers Cities (OACO) was founded in 1951 and replaced in 1966 by the National Office of Housing (ONL). In 1982, the ONL is a Public Company for the Promotion of Social Housing (EPPLS) to formulate a national policy on housing and provide housing solutions to low-income households.

Nevertheless, the country has not to date housing policy itself, but has several analyzes prepared by or with the international technical cooperation. As for the number of social housing products – and despite UN funds and the World Bank – it remains tiny face housing needs, particularly in Port-au-Prince who knows an informal real estate investment therefore in line with the emigrant workers.

In 1985, several banks specialized in financing access to housing are created to meet the needs of an expanding middle layer.

The 2010 earthquake destroyed or heavily damaged or very many homes in Haiti. No national institution was able to cope with new housing needs of the population. The axes of the emergency response were: cleaning and treatment of rubble and destruction of homes and severely damaged buildings; construction and distribution of transitional shelters; repair, and finally, the relocation of displaced families. According to 2011 figures, 15,000 homes have been repaired and 10,000 new homes have been rebuilt by the owners via their own. A Unit Housing Construction Program and Public Buildings (UCLBP) is set up with the support of the United Nations. This is to allow displaced families to return to their home districts. Other programs, such as 400/100 or Kay Pa m (my home) are emerging as well.

A new National Housing Policy, Housing and Urban Development is developed by UCLBP (2012). This is the issue of risk management and security of property that are the heart of this new policy. It is therefore a more narrow view of social protection for the most vulnerable families to assume the cost of access to housing. Limited financial aid is available for those who wish to access the property of their dwellings. But many displaced families, many tenants still have no solution to their housing problems!

Source: Nathalie Lamaute-Brisson, “Systèmes de protection sociale en Amérique latine et dans les Caraïbes“, CEPALC, United Nations, 2012.

Cultural aspects – Religious – Symbolic

Environmental aspects

Bibliography & Sitography



The POHDH – Platform of Haitian Human Rights Organizations – Calls on government:

  1. Take all legal provisions and respectful of human dignity in order to make the final movement of people still living in camps and areas at risk to secure housing;
  2. Define and implement a comprehensive policy to ensure housing for all families, their right to live in a decent home respecting their dignity as a human being;
  3. Define a national land policy and land redistribution as the main source of wealth of the country;
  4. Regulate the issue of rent which, for several years, is a major in the country;
  5. Facilitate the movement of disabled people in all new construction of houses;
  6. Making effective decentralization and deconcentration in the country according to the wishes of Articles 63 and 64 of the Haitian Constitution;
  7. Create appropriate conditions for farmers to live in the provinces without having to move elsewhere to find the necessary basic services;
  8. Provide decent housing when individuals are not able to find themselves;
  9. Take immediate steps to put an end to discrimination with regard to access to housing;
  10. Respect the right of people to participate in decision-making concerning their right to housing and allow them to build housing that meets their needs;
  11. Ensure that the cost of housing is affordable;
  12. Provide access to land for housing;
  13. Ensure the provision and maintenance of public services such as roads, health, water, sanitation and others.

According to the Haiti Advocacy Working Group (HAWG) Durable solutions to the housing problem must take into account the farmers and the Haitian peasantry, which account for over 70% of the population of the country, and who suffered like their counterparts in the city following the earthquake. This is particularly relevant for women, who represent the majority of small farmers, but are rarely own the land they farm or the houses in which they live. Not only rural welcomed and housed the survivors of the earthquake, and shared their limited resources, but in addition, this rare agricultural land has been monopolized for the new economic development and housing areas. The internal refugees camps which run in these rural communities across the country highlight the need for an integrated land reform and housing policy that addresses the needs of people in both rural and urban. (2)


  • ARCHITECTS OF EMERGENCY = Foundation has its headquarters in France – Switzerland – Australia and Canada and brings his expertise to the disaster victims. It is specifically a double action field: Emergency action is to measure the risks to populations in order to reach safety, particularly at the building – a reconstruction effort following the disaster (reconstruction of the building – relocation of displaced persons) for the sake of training and use of local products Their website – Contact their office in Haiti
  • Fòs Refleksyon ak Aksyon sou Koze Kay – FRAKKA = represents one initiative, though still fledgling, to unite grassroots groups and residents of internally displaced people’s camps to win their human right to housing. Info via website AJWS
  • GROUPE D’APPUI AUX RAPATRIES ET REFUGIES – GARR = platform of associations and non-governmental organizations working on the issue of migration, migrants often live in deplorable situations. Website – Contact
  • GRET HAITI = nonprofit organization that works in international network brings together professionals and Cooperative Development. In Haiti, they live among other projects on access to water in the neighborhoods – the reconstruction – the dynamics of decentralization. Representation in Haiti: Website – Contact
  • PLATFORM FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS HAITIAN – POHDH = Platform bringing together Haitian institutions around a set of common principles and practices, formed following the coup d’état of 1991. Among its missions, there is the defense of human rights with the public – the exchange of experiences and the pooling of resources – training in the field of human rights – a role continuous monitoring of the situation of human rights in the country. Website POHDH
  • SUPPORT GROUP RETURNEES AND REFUGEES GARR = a platform of associations and non-governmental organizations working on the issue of migration. While not excluding other migration poles GARR focuses on the Dominican Republic where many Haitian immigrants in extremely difficult situations. Since the earthquake that struck Haiti on 12 January 2010, GARR is also working with internally displaced people in camps and with host families in Port-au-Prince and the border. website :