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Helping Families, Closing Camps: Using rental support cash grants and other housing solutions to end displacement in camps

2012 — By Emmett Fitzgerald

Rental Support Cash Grants have enabled over 14,000 families to move from Haiti’s displacement camps into safe housing. Since October 2010, ten months after the January 12th earthquake, these grants of $500 US Dollars covering one year of rent have proven to be a fast, effective and relatively inexpensive method of providing housing solutions.

Questions have been raised about the availability and cost of rental property in Port‐au‐Prince and therefore about the sustainability of the Rental Support Cash Grant approach. However this report shows that there is sufficient supply in the rental housing market for a further 19,000 families to benefit from grants. Moreover, despite a rise in demand the cost of rent has in fact slightly decreased since September 2011.

As well as providing a short‐term housing solution for one year, evidence in this report shows that rental support is proving to be a stepping stone for families to find durable housing solutions. A survey of families more than one year on from the program revealed that 90% of them had found a housing solution through their own means. The other 10% of beneficiary families could not be contacted by telephone, but zero families surveyed had returned to a camp.

The report provides five key recommendations for the Government of Haiti’s strategy for housing, camps and urban development.