August 31, 2011
Home Building, Construction Trades and Clean Energy Grants Announced from Clinton Bush Haiti Fund


While shelter is undeniably one of the most urgent needs in Haiti, little large-scale progress at repairing damaged homes or building permanent housing has been seen since the earthquake.  While myriad transitional home models have been proposed — from plywood huts to plastic snap-in-place igloos —  the intractable problem of verifying land ownership and acquiring new land for planned communities has stymied efforts.


Today, to boost the housing construction industry, the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, established by former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush in the wake of the Haitian earthquake, has just announced $1.4 million in grants.  According to the Fund’s website, grants will support:  1) a franchise-based steel-frame housing company with corollary construction training program  2) equipment for the largest construction trades training school in Haiti, and  3) a non-profit that will facilitate the purchase and shipping of clean energy supplies by members of the Haitian Diaspora wishing to donate them to families in Haiti.


1) “GaMa Entreprises, S.A., a Haitian company headed by Mathias Pierre…will use ($1.08 million of) the money to implement a franchise-based housing solution. Under the brand name KayTek (“House Technology” in Haitian Creole), GaMa’s housing enterprise will manufacture steel-frame housing kits at a factory in Port-au-Prince. KayTek will provide a selection of ready-made and custom designs for homes in a range of markets, as well as a one-stop materials solution for buyers to customize their homes. The program will train engineers and general contractors, who can in turn train general tradesmen. With this technical training…those selected as franchisees will be prepared to start and manage their own home-building businesses throughout Haiti.”


2) The Salesians Professional School in Port au Prince will receive a grant of $225,000 to equip temporary classrooms to certify 620 at-risk youth in the construction trades.  The school is one of the few accredited construction training schools in Haiti.


3)  Arc Finance will receive a grant of $150,000 to promote “access to financing for energy, clean water, and other basic needs. This new program, undertaken in partnership with the Multilateral Investment Fund, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, will allow members of the Haitian diaspora living in the US to directly purchase low-cost and energy efficient products, such as stoves and lamps (alternatives to charcoal, wood and kerosene) to send to Haiti. Haitian-owned goods-remittance company FoodExpress will then deliver the products.”


For more information on the recent grants see


Initially providing millions of dollars for humanitarian relief after the earthquake, the Fund has disbursed more than $53 million given from over 200,000 private donors.  The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund now fosters “sustainable reconstruction efforts designed to promote jobs and create economic opportunity, enabling Haiti to chart its own successful future.”  See