Haiti’s struggle to rebuild homes for hundreds of thousands of quake victims may be giving the impoverished nation something it has never had: loans to help people buy them.
If efforts by international donors and local agencies succeed, at least a few members of Haiti’s small middle class will be able for the first time to get a mortgage. Some of the efforts reach even further, offering micro-mortgages for families who make as little as $150 a month.
The hurdles will be significant in a nation where 70 percent are unemployed, many land titles were destroyed in the January 2010 quake and banks have little experience in offering loans to anyone but the country’s tiny elite, leaving most of Haiti’s 10 million people to rent their housing.
Even those who would seem to qualify are finding it a struggle.