Volunteer Dominican Republic
Housing need in the Dominican Republic
The housing deficit in the Dominican Republic exceeds 1.2 million units, about 60 percent of which is qualitative (UNDP 2010). This qualitative deficit (number of inadequate houses) is greater than the quantitative deficit, and it is growing at an average of 50, 000 to 60, 000 homes per year. For this reason, Habitat Dominican Republic is focusing on housing improvements.
At a national level, the housing production system is “self-production” or social production, which means construction by families and communities. The high cost of professional construction services and the low incomes of many families do not allow these families to access formal means of construction, and this aggravates the poor quality and lack of security of the homes.
Habitat for Humanity in the Dominican Republic
Habitat for Humanity seeks to improve the living conditions of low-income families through access to adequate housing. Since 1986, the organization has served more than 6, 000 families in Dominican Republic with housing solutions. Visit us at habitatdominicana.org.
Habitat’s contribution in the Dominican Republic
Habitat Dominican Republic has diversified the types of service it offers, focusing on rehabs and repairs with housing support services.
Financial services: Habitat mobilizes new capital to provide microcredit for housing to low-income families, working in partnership with other organizations.
Volunteer mobilization: Habitat mobilizes volunteers to support construction and non-construction activities at the national, local and international levels to reduce costs, generate income and to promote the cause of adequate, affordable housing.
Housing support services: Habitat supports families with products and services that help them reach the goal of having an adequate house and converting that house into durable capital.
Disaster risk reduction: Habitat reduces vulnerability to disasters by enhancing risk reduction systems and restoring the habitat and means of subsistence in communities affected by disasters.
Meet a Habitat family
Francisco Montero lived for many years in an inadequate house made out of wood with a zinc roof in Los Alcarrizos.
Over time, Montero built a new block house, with support from Habitat for Humanity Dominican Republic. He received construction technical assistance, which allowed him to increase his carpentry skills.
“I received great advice from Habitat, ” Montero said. “Before, I did things carelessly, but now I have the knowledge to make better carpentry, especially concerning the structure, so that it can withstand the load of concrete.”
With the microcredit he received, he completed the concrete roof, making the house ready for occupancy. After more than five years of work, he has a much safer place to live, with no fear of the weather.
“The simple fact of knowing that the hurricane season approaches is a concern for living in a house built of wood and zinc, as I had, ” Montero said. “Now I no longer have this concern. We now live in a safe place.”