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.
Quarterly Update (September 2019)
In Q4 FY 2019 (July 1 to September 30, 2019), 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. HOME partners with 3 local developers and 5 financial institutions. To date, HOME has leveraged USD 18 million of local private capital invested in exchange for USD 2.8 million incentives.
By the end of last year, HOME had residential units under contract spread across three affordable housing development projects; by the end of this year, HOME added three more. HOME is looking into the possibility of launching a new project in Cap Haitien despite multiple previous attempts to find a commercially viable project, given the economic and political instability that has persisted in 2019.
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. Specifically, HOME has strengthened its support of existing projects to ensure that they have the financial capacity to continue to undertake investments in the low-income housing market. Further turmoil, however, towards the end of FY19 has made the likelihood of new projects more difficult.
HOME continues outreach to banks on behalf of developers, serving as a transaction advisor in the developer-bank relationship to ensure that offtake occurs smoothly. During this quarter, as part of the effort to catalyze investment into Haitian enterprises, HOME participated in the Haitian Diaspora Investment Opportunities Seminar Series in Boston and in Montreal, organized by the USAID Haiti INVEST program. Similar to HOME, Haiti INVEST focuses on enterprise-led development, unlocking the potential of the private sector to move Haiti beyond the need for assistance. Further seminars will be taking place in early FY20 in Miami, Atlanta and New York.
In order to help HOME’s partner developers sell housing units, HOME organized additional events in these cities and promoted the sale of units to the larger Haitian diaspora community, targeting print media, radio, and TV. To achieve this, HOME started partnerships with US-based Haitian diaspora marketing firms to organize a series of concurring roadshows.
Read more: An Introduction to Pay-for-Results in Development
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
- 84 total credit unions
- 912,806 members
- USD 117,894,560 in assets