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Where we operate

Where we operate

Simon-Pelé is a densely populated, informal settlement with approximately 30,000 residents, situated in an industrial area north of downtown Port-au-Prince. The area is characterized by low-quality, self-built housing, inadequate public infrastructure, high unemployment, noteworthy gang activity and sporadic violence. Despite these challenges, Simon-Pelé also has several strengths, including strong social ties, human capital, a vibrant commercial main street, and de facto security of land tenure, all of which present opportunities for engagement. Habitat works in partnership with the communities to revitalize Simon-Pelé through repairs, retrofits and reconstruction of damaged or unsafe homes; vocational training for jobs or business creation; and capacity building of local community leaders. The next phase of this program will focus on supporting the Community Council in the development of public infrastructure projects to improve drainage, water, sanitation and the hygiene practices of residents.
In March 2010, an area of land extending north from Port-au-Prince was declared “public utility” by eminent domain. Since then, the site has rapidly and organically transformed into Haiti’s fourth-largest city, with over 32,000 new households representing an investment of more than US$100 million. This process of urbanization has taken place outside of any formalized planning, technical assistance or joint decision making with authorities. The evolution of this residential area has been led by the community and financed through speculative land transactions, remittances, personal savings and redirected subsidies. Habitat’s work in Vil-Ka-Bel (also called Canaan) includes neighborhood development projects, institutional and technical assistance programs, strategic communications support, and various community based services.
Category-4 Hurricane Matthew violently struck southwestern Haiti on October 4, 2016 bringing heavy rainfall in the south, southeast and the northwest; creating the largest humanitarian emergency in the country since the 2010 earthquake. It caused considerable damage to the housing sector.

As Habitat has no current infrastructure in this part of Haiti, we’re creating strategic partnerships with other reputable organizations including Mercy Corps, OXFAM and CESVI who already have offices in the affected areas. With Mercy Corps, we’ve started implementing trainings in Nippes.

You can learn more about our work in this region in housing support services.

Everyone deserves a decent place to live.