over $800,000 to the Architecture for Humanity Haiti Rebuilding Center
The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund announced an $816,472 grant to Architecture for Humanity, in support of the Haiti Rebuilding Center in Port-au-Prince. This grant will enable small and growing Haitian businesses to participate in post-earthquake reconstruction and ensure rebuilding incorporates better design and engineering.
Funded jointly by Architecture for Humanity and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the Rebuilding Center will serve as a one-stop-shop to provide both technical expertise and financial support to Haiti’s construction sector. It should help put more than 5,000 Haitians back to work and benefit the lives of 30,000 people within three years by providing workforce training, consumer education, and professional referrals. The Rebuilding Center will serve as a clearinghouse for reconstruction bids and tender opportunities.
The disaster has exacerbated a need for technical skills and experience on the ground. Consequently these services are expensive and require long lead times. If no action is taken to address the private market, a lack of consumer education and awareness will lead to unsafe construction and loss of life in the next disaster. Currently, no incentives exist for the private sector to use professional design services.
Through the establishment of a construction-financing arm, the Rebuilding Center will offer a mix of construction/bridge loans and grants to 30 small business owners and entrepreneurs (SME’s) over 3 years. These building projects will provide jobs and skills training to 600 local Haitian professionals (architects, engineers and contractors), creating 150 new jobs and contributing to both short-term and long-term economic growth.
The program is expected to last no longer than three to five years. At which point, it is the goal of the partners that the Rebuilding Center would be renamed and reframed as a local Economic Development Agency. In this way, the Rebuilding Center will not only speed recovery but also leave a lasting legacy that supports the long-term economic prosperity and cultural aspirations of the people of Haiti.
With the funding provided by the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the Rebuilding Center will address the immediate needs for rebuilding and reconstruction and support long-term economic growth by:
- Providing construction financing and technical assistance to support the reconstruction of small businesses and key ‘anchor’ projects, putting more than 5,000 Haitians back to work and impacting the lives of 30,000 people within three years;
- Providing workforce development and training to more than 2,000 Haitian professionals and skilled laborers in the design and construction industry by increasing the capacity of local firms to compete for and win reconstruction contracts, recovering 600 skilled jobs and creating 150 new jobs and opportunities in Haiti for the next generation of Haitian professionals;
- Creating consumer demand for safe, sustainable construction through 1) an aggressive consumer education campaign (“BatsiBien”) 2) referrals to local design and construction firms and access to low-cost/pro bono services of specialized building consultants and;
- Establishing a local Economic Development Corporation (EDC) capable of attracting long-term community investment and the creation of 3,000 sustainable jobs within five years.