The DIY Economy in Haiti, Housing Market Edition

kay ayiti

In my last piece at medium, I write about the Haitian housing market and why middle class Haitians are literally building their houses by themselves:

The reality is that if you want to stop paying a landlord rent and invest in what is widely seen as the biggest asset many families in the world will ever possess, there isn’t much you can do. You will have to build the place you call home anew, by yourself. And by build, I don’t mean just hiring a construction firm to do the job.

You’ll have to look actively for a piece of empty land, buy that land after checking extensively whether the seller is the genuine owner, hire masons and a foreman and – if you’re wealthy enough – a civil engineer or an architect. You will also have to shop for your own cement, sand, cinder blocks, rebar, and other necessary building materials. On top of that, don’t forget to add regular meetings with the foreman as well as frequent visits to the construction site to make sure that sacks of cement or stacks of rebar are not being stolen. The activity is so time consuming that employees sometimes have to take a leave of absence from their jobs so they can spend a few weeks inspecting what is happening on the construction site.

The the whole thing is here.

Photo by Action Haiti, Équipe Antonio

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