Haiti Reconstruction: Potholes Aplenty For South Florida Developers

Jan 13, 2011

In March, 150 nations pledged more than $5 billion dollars to rebuild Haiti.  Construction firms around the world, and especially in South Florida, began jockeying for those funds.  Developers and planners from South Florida bid on contracts to build roads, construct housing, and remove debris.  And not just developers and planners.  Even Royal Caribbean, based in Miami, bid on housing contracts.

However, there are challenges.  Most of the pledged funds have not been doled out.  What’s more, complicated land ownership laws tie up some companies’ efforts to build short-term housing for displaced Haitians.And there is the waiting.  Lots of waiting.  Marie Bell, a Haitian-American political consultant, advises businesses to court Haiti just as they would a romantic partner.

Under the Sun‘s Kenny Malone found out what South Florida’s planners and developers have been able to do– and what they haven’t been able to do– in the months since the earthquake.  Click the player above to listen.


J.R. Bergeron is still waiting.  He says this past month, he bid on a $20 million dollar contract with the US government to clear about 200 cubic meters of rubble in Haiti.  He’s hasn’t heard back yet.  In the meantime, he says he’s training another Haitian worker.

InnoVida is plowing ahead with their innovative homes.  They’re almost finished building about 80 houses as part of a UN project.  They’ve partnered with Royal Carribbean to build a school in rural Labadee.  And they now have a much bigger school in the works.

As for the Duany shelters?  The company says they’ve been delayed due “to the typical challenges in Haiti.”