The Haiti Home Ownership and Mortgage Expansion (HOME) Program, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), addresses gaps in both the demand and supply sides of the housing value chain in Haiti to create affordable housing. Through developing an incentive structure, including varied deployment of pay-for performance (P4P) principles, the program mobilizes the Haitian financial sector and property developers to lead in expanding and improving the market for housing finance products and infrastructure.
The program works with implementing partners, Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) and the Affordable Housing Institute (AHI), seeking to unlock liquidity in the Haitian banking sector to mitigate risk for participating financial institutions (PFIs) and developers, and enable low, moderate and middle-income Haitian households to gain access to affordable housing. The HOME Program challenges and assists PFIs, developers, and low, moderate and middle-income households to identify, articulate and implement these solutions themselves—acting as a facilitator in the process—but does not create artificial interference in the housing market.
To ensure that housing developments meet high environmental standards, HOME collaborated with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to enable partner developers to become EDGE certified. Excellence in Design for Greater Efficiencies (EDGE) is a green building certification system for new residential and commercial buildings, especially adapted to emerging markets. Under this partnership, HOME offers technical assistance on EDGE standards and provides environmental sustainability incentives to developers to cover the incremental costs of achieving the green building benchmark.
This program is timely, given that the 2010 earthquake destroyed 180,000 homes adding to the existing housing shortage, creating a backlog of nearly 300,000 units. USAID in close collaboration with the Government of Haiti (GOH) identified a number of fundamental constraints in Haiti’s housing delivery system. Against a backdrop of extreme poverty, the Haiti HOME Program helps address some of these constraints through the innovative uses of capital that have the additional benefit of addressing gaps, disruptions, weaknesses, or inefficiencies in Haiti’s delivery of either affordable homes or affordable housing financing.
Read more: An Introduction to Pay-for-Results in Development
Quarterly Update (December 2019)
In Q1 FY 2020 (October 1 to December 31, 2019), WOCCU’s Haiti operations were severely interrupted for a period of eight weeks due to political unrest in Haiti. Nevertheless, as part of the effort to catalyze investment into Haitian enterprises, the HOME team maintained its participation in the Haitian Diaspora Investment Opportunities Seminar Series in Miami, Atlanta, and New York in collaboration with the Haiti INVEST Program, and organized Roadshows for its partner developers. The Roadshows served to further engage with the Haitian Diaspora community and promote to them the sale of housing units from HOME’s partner developers.
In this quarter, HOME continued to incentivize local developers to create model communities for underserved low and middle-income segments as well as incentivize banks to finance affordable housing communities and grow mortgage portfolios. As of December 2019, private capital committed by developers and financial institutions partners reached USD 37.4 million. Thus far, HOME has leveraged USD 19.5 million of these private funds in activities such as owner-led housing microfinance products, developer-led housing infrastructure investments, and mortgage products in return for USD 2.9 million in incentives.
To date, HOME has residential units under contract spread across six affordable housing development projects. Challenges this quarter and throughout the year have been largely based on the highly unstable and uncertain political and economic environment, accompanied by currency devaluation. In order to spur the mobilization of capital for new projects during this difficult period, the HOME team has decided to use its incentives more aggressively; however, incentives can only go so far. Several developers have expressed that while incentives are essential to their investments, they don’t believe that their housing units can be sold in the current economy. HOME is therefore getting developers to begin to take a long-term approach to their projects.
On December 10, 2019, HOME facilitated the first meeting with housing developers and construction firms along with key USAID staff in order to launch a formal association of housing developers. This was in response to the request from several key market players, such as commercials banks, housing developers, construction companies, and the Central Bank of Haiti who wanted to see more formal and structured collaboration in the sector.This group decided that the creation of a professional association would reinforce the objectives of each member, creating a common platform to represent their interests, introduce norms and standards, leverage Haitian Governmental institutions, and solidify the continued growth of the sector. Participants created a steering committee that will be responsible for the establishment of the association. A second meeting was held on December 18, 2019 for the steering committee to present its recommendations of the preliminary set of bylaws that will govern the association. Further work is anticipated in early Q2 of FY20 with a legal expert for the registration of the association.
As part of its goal to reinforce the capacity of the local finance sector, the HOME program organized for Fabienne Midy, head of lending at Sogebel (Haiti’s only housing bank), to attend The African Union for Housing Finance (AUHF) and International Union for Housing Finance (IUHF) Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in November 2019. The purpose of this activity was to maintain sector confidence in the long-term importance of affordable housing, raise awareness of major challenges in developing or strengthening housing finance markets, and most importantly gain insight into new developments in housing finance globally to develop a sense of optimism about opportunities for mortgage sector development in Haiti.
Breaking New Grounds:
EDGE Certified Affordable Housing in Haiti
Patrick Brun is the owner of Chabuma, a local developer who recently finished building the country’s first affordable housing developments in Port au Prince. Chabuma’s Villa Flora and Village La Fontaine developments stand as a model for what is possible in Haiti when affordable housing meets sustainability. Each home offers a safe, clean and green space for families to escape the poverty trap and invest in their future. In a country where land titles are rare and houses are often purchased on the informal market, Chabuma’s developments offer a unique opportunity for low and middle-income households to gain security of tenure.
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Credit Union Magazine Article
CUs Provide Housing Hope for Haitians: WOCCU works to address housing shortage
A major earthquake in Haiti in 2010 killed more than 230,000 people, displaced nearly 1.5 million more, and destroyed more than 180,000 homes, exacerbating an already existing housing shortage.
Despite an influx of foreign aid, years after the earthquake inadequate housing options remain a challenge for Haitians. In 2015, with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Council of Credit Unions started the Haiti Home Ownership and Mortgage Expansion (HOME) Program.
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Village Dominique, based in Santo 3, includes both a commercial and residential community with affordable, modern housing and green building certification.LEARN MORE
The development provides 75 units in Village Noailles, in the town of Croix-des-Learn More
Chabuma’s first developments are being built on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince and include 37 units in Corlette and six in Santo.Learn More
SOCOLAVIM exceeded initial targets set by the HOME program by more than 20%Learn More
Haiti HOME will enable Joselande to build a home instead of continuing to pay rentLearn More
Haiti HOME partners with Habitat for Humanity and Affordable Housing Institute in providing affordable housingLearn More
Credit Unions in Haiti (2018)
- 85 total credit unions
- 826,072 members
- USD 109,320,615 in assets