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The Problem is Bigger than Housing...

The barriers facing any effort to address the housing crisis in Haiti are significant. Lack of basic public infrastructure, extreme poverty, absence of mortgages, rampant corruption, and weak governmental oversight make Haiti one of the most challenging settings to operate within and places many constraints on design choices. Thus, if the problem of safe and affordable urban housing can be solved for Haiti, it likely can be solved anywhere. 

The Four Dimensions of a Human-Centered Design for Haiti...


The Problem is Bigger than Housing...In order to deliver dignified, engineered urban housing within Haiti’s informal economy, considering all of the barriers to doing so, E2E knew it needed to first LISTEN. That listening spanned three years of personal reconnaissance that included over 100 forensic assessments of structural failures, interviews with 1400 internally displaced persons (IDPs), and collective visioning of potential housing typologies with over a dozen architects, engineers and masons in Léogâne, Haiti -- the effective epicenter of the earthquake.


Anticipating that aid would in no way be able to meet this community’s need for housing, E2E documented additional information needed to formulate locally-sustainable engineering solutions: construction material supply chains, skill sets of construction crews, and the monthly revenue internally displaced persons (IDPs) could direct toward reconstruction.


This process yielded the four-dimensional solution space for a Haiti-specific housing solution with requirements for:

  1. resiliency against natural and man-made hazards,

  2. feasibility to ensure designs can be executed in Haiti,

  3. viability to earn the support of local stakeholders, and

  4. sustainability in light of the severe financial limitations.

This matrix defined a solution space in which E2E began to explore potential housing typologies.

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