Displaced Peoples' Camps & the Urgency of Housing
Housing activist Reyneld Sanon is beginning a tour to key cities in the United States. The tour will raise awareness about Under Tents, the international campaign for housing rights in Haiti. The campaign is a joint initiative of Haitian grassroots groups and more than 30 international organizations that are demanding a solution for Haiti’s homeless.
Like so many New Orleanians since Katrina, Haitians are fighting to have housing recognized as a basic right. Since the massive 2010 earthquake devastated their country, there has been NO large-scale housing plan to shelter the nearly half a million people who remain displaced and homeless. Displaced people, Haitian grassroots organizations, and international allies have launched a campaign called Under Tents, demanding public or affordable housing. International solidarity will be vital to their success!
By Beverly Bell
August 29, 2012
As a native and resident of New Orleans who has spent three decades in and out of Haiti, and as director of an organization with offices in both places, this has been a harrowing week. The two locales sit squarely in Hurricane Isaac’s path. We don’t know yet how New Orleans will weather the giant storm. The official death toll in Haiti was 24, but many more will surely die from secondary effects of cholera or, for those who have lost their slim margins of sustenance, hunger.
Lolis Eric Elie
Interviewed by Beverly Bell
August 28, 2012
Tomorrow, seven years to the day after Hurricane Katrina dodged New Orleans, the city will be venturing out to assess Hurricane Isaac’s overnight imprint on its neighborhoods. Yet parts of the city – especially low-income, African-American parts – are still damaged from the flood that followed the 2005 storm, when more than 50 levees broke and filled New Orleans with killing waters.
Below, writer Lolis Eric Elie speaks to the connections between his native New Orleans and Haiti, which did not escape Hurricane Isaac. Officially, 24 people died when the hurricane passed through on Saturday, though the numbers of those who will die from secondary effects such as hunger and cholera will never be counted. Elie’s discussion, however, focuses on an earlier disaster in Haiti, the epic 7.0 earthquake of January 12, 2010.
Press release from Accuracy.org
AP reports at least eight deaths from tropical storm Issac in Haiti. Over 30 groups working on Haiti have set up the Under Tents campaign in working to ensure housing.
The groups state that many of Haiti’s problems are not “natural disasters,” but are the result of policies that become increasingly glaring as Haiti faces more storms this season. Among the groups in the campaign:
"Homelessness, Displacement, Evictions . . . This Sounds Familiar": New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center
By Hannah Adams, Guest Contributor
In both disasters, large regions lost the majority of their affordable housing stock, resulting in massive spikes in homelessness and displacement. UNITY of Greater New Orleans reports that homelessness rates effectively doubled in the city from January 2005 to January 2009.  The Greater New Orleans Community Data Center adds that New Orleans experienced a population loss of over 140,000 according to the 2010 census, and that poor New Orleanians and families with children under eighteen were among those less likely to return.  Meanwhile, the Under Tents Campaign reports that 400,000 Haitians remain homeless in displacement camps where they face gender-based violence, disease, unsanitary living conditions, and flooding.
"The quantity of people who are homeless in Port-au-Prince today is not acceptable. We need the support of other governments, like the US, to demand that the Haitian Government create a social housing plan. We are looking for allies to help our advocacy. We are asking simply for quality homes where people can live." - Jackson Doliscar of the grassroots group Force for Reflection and Action on Housing (FRAKKA).
by Deepa Panchang
June 29, 2012
“Where you stand,” goes an old Haitian proverb, “depends on where you sit.” This article, the second in a series, will examine aid workers’ stereotypes and prejudices about residents of displacement camps in post-earthquake Haiti, stemming from acute disconnect between NGOs and the people they are there to work with. We explore how these misperceptions have perpetuated deliberate decisions to deny water and sanitation services to desperate survivors.
URGENT ACTION: HAITIAN FAMILIES AGAIN FACING FORCED EVICTION
Update from Amnesty International on the families in Grace Village
June 15, 2012
Hundreds of Haitian families are facing forcible eviction from a refugee camp where they have been living since the January 2010 earthquake. Representatives of the landowner, and local police officers, have been threatening and harassing them.