Heinbecker: $5 billion later and 500,000 Haitians still live in tents. Why?

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23 January, 2012
By: Paul Heinbecker
CIGI Distinguished Fellow

Most fundamentally, because housing 500,000 people takes a long time. Think about how long it takes to build even a low cost a suburb in Canada, when conditions are extremely favourable. Then think about how much longer it would take if a major earthquake or flood intervened, and the administrative, decision-making infrastructure were decimated. Then think about the paucity of indigenous technical and management capacity. Then contemplate how long it takes Ottawa and first nations to upgrade infrastructure in remote aboriginal communities. In this light, the time it is taking to rebuild in Haiti does not look so exceptional.

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