Land Tenure and Real Estate Ownership Documentation Haiti

Understanding Complex Challenges
Rate of resolution of a barrier to building back better permanent housing Alister William Macintyre research notes1 last updated 2011 June 18 Version 3.2

Table of Contents
First time viewer (1 Jun 18)............................................................................................................ 3 Introduction (1 Feb 17)....................................................................................................................... 4 Tags (1 Jun 18) ............................................................................................................................ 9 World Bank Recovery Steps (1 Feb 17) ....................................................................................... 9


Many sources of information credited throughout this research notes document.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Pre-requisite Priorities Solution Path (Sep 17) ..........................................................................11 Haiti Housing Statistics (Glossary).........................................................................................14 Terminology and Concepts (Glossary).......................................................................................14 Earthquake Rubble Debris (Glossary) ...................................................................................14 Defining Human Housing Rights (Glossary) ............................................................................14 Land Tenure Big Picture (1 Mar 03)...........................................................................................14 Land Policy Challenges (Sep 15)............................................................................................. 16 Elites (Dec 28)...........................................................................................................................17 Haiti Red Zones (0 Oct 03) .....................................................................................................18 Forced Eviction Risk (1 Apr 19)............................................................................................. 18 Land Tenure Reform (0 Sep 17) ............................................................................................. 18 Recent History Abuses (1 Mar 03) .........................................................................................18 World Bank Key Decisions (1 Feb 17) ..................................................................................19 UN Habitat (Sep 19).................................................................................................................20 Patents (1 Jun 14)......................................................................................................................20 Defining Owner Documentation (Sep 11) ................................................................................20 Quebec Parallel (Sep 14) ..........................................................................................................21 Haiti Resolution (0 Sep 12)......................................................................................................22 Delaleu Solution (0 Sep 12) .....................................................................................................22 Wise Re-Building Standards (1 Feb 17)......................................................................................23 Haitian People Confusion (Sep 21) ........................................................................................23 Government officials confusion (1 Feb 17)..........................................................................23 NGO confusion (0 Oct-03).....................................................................................................24 Other People Confusion (Sep-22) ..........................................................................................25 Gov Land Water Pollution (1 Apr 04)............................................................................................ 26 Textile Jobs (1 Apr 04) .............................................................................................................28 Korean Textile Pollution (1 Apr 04) ......................................................................................33 Haiti Challenges (0 Sep-21)...............................................................................................................34 How long until mess resolved? (Sep 18) ....................................................................................36 Dimensions (1 Feb 17) ........................................................................................................36


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Brookings Analysis (Sep 19) ....................................................................................................37 UN and International Community (1 Feb 17)......................................................................37 Alternative Approaches (Sep 19).................................................................39 Leslie Voltaire View (Sep 19)............................................................................40 Major Players (0 Sep 17) ..........................................................................................................41 Direction Générale des Impôts (Sep 14)...........................................................................42 Public Notaries (Sep 14)......................................................................................................42 Local Municipalities (Sep 13).............................................................................................. 42 Before Quake Reality (Oct 09)................................................................................................ 43 Urban vs. Rural land tenure (0 Oct 09).............................................................................44 After Quake Reality (1 Feb 17) ............................................................................................... 45 Documentation is a Western Concept (0 Sep 23) ................................................................ 47 No Documentation = No Ownership (0 July 11)................................................................ 47 Violent Evictions by Non-Owner Gangs (1 Mar 08) ..........................................................51 Build back Better (0 Sep 14) ........................................................................................................52

First time viewer (1 Jun 18)
If you are viewing my notes for the first time, where these fit into the big picture: It is now a year and a half after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, whose survivors living conditions grow ever more desperate, while little progress is apparent with any permanent solutions. Most all reports, on Haiti, mention the serious problem of land ownership, without explaining the problem. Here I try to explain the problem, mass confusion about it, and suggest ways to solve it. It is a problem common to many developing nations, brought to global light by the disaster.    Less than 5% of Haiti’s land is legally registered as to who owns it. It takes upwards of a year to research who is the legal owner of any land. Haitian court system ignores land disputes, usually solved by whoever has the most powerful thug army, often uses elements of the UN military, and Haitian police, many of whom are illiterate. Over a year ago, President Preval said land needs to be designated which can be used for replacement housing, then the government will condemn it, and can compensate the legitimate owners, if they prove that they are in fact the legitimate owners.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

President Martelly needs to re-iterate this is the policy of the replacement government, once Parliament stalemate is ended, so the replacement government can function.  NGOs act like they do not know this, constantly saying say they cannot build because of the lack of ownership clarification, when in fact they only need to ask the Haiti government to identify the land where the government authorizes them to build, and get appropriate government documentation and UN protection. This also includes Gov of Haiti Ministries, which have had to cancel major infrastructure rebuilding projects, due to inability to get land ownership disputes resolved. $ Billions in aid has been pledged, $ Millions have been delivered. Many recovery efforts are stalled, for lack of funds. Some humanitarian assistance has ended, for lack of funds. Part of the problem is matching up money pledged with where it is most needed. Within a few months of the earthquake, an action plan for recovery had been drafted in concert with the Gov of Haiti, UN, Diaspora, many other interested parties. This should be reviewed by the new government, since priorities may have shifted, due to the Cholera epidemic, and other interim events.

Debris removal. The Action Plan outlines an 18-month need of $265 million for
debris removal. As of March 2011, IHRC approved an estimated $52 million for debris removal projects. Additional funds came below the reconstruction commission threshold for their involvement. Current estimates are that it will take several years to clear the rubble (most of it by hand), and that must be completed before serious rebuilding. Agriculture. The Action Plan outlines an 18-month need of $260 million for agricultural production. IHRC has approved projects in the agricultural sector totaling about $380 million. Institutional rebuilding. The Action Plan identifies an 18-month need for more than $800 million to rebuild and improve Haitian government institutions; IHRC has approved about $113 million in projects to address this challenge. Transportation network. The Action Plan identified an 18-month need of $180 million to improve the national transportation network. As of February 2011, IHRC has approved road-construction projects totaling more than $680 million.

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Introduction (1 Feb 17)
I know this introduction has grown too long, needs re-thinking.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

The land ownership documentation crisis now does not seem as bad as it was earlier, since the Preval government says Haiti may use eminent domain to get whatever land is needed for reconstruction, then compensate the correct land owners when. 1. The correct land owners can prove they are in fact the correct land owners. 2. The government of Haiti has the money to compensate them. But the almost total lack of cooperation means Haiti reconstruction leadership continues to attack Haiti government for not yet coming to the conclusion they came to very soon after the Jan 2010 quake, but failed to communicate effectively, and we see from my research notes 1 year report on NGO cooperation NOT, that this leadership chaos may never end. Several of my "1 year reviews" are now available from and the collection of files on my Linked In profile. These notes began in a separate research document, which subsequently got split into related topics, when they became too voluminous. If your interest is in Haiti housing challenges, perhaps you should start with my Glossary of Haiti Housing challenges, which includes references to all my related Housing research notes documents, and to many external sources. Topic sub-titles end in a date signifying when that info last updated, so by viewing table of contents, we see where most recent input to these research notes, especially aiding people who have a copy of an earlier version.2 1 in front of month means 2011. Where “date” in parentheses is instead “Glossary” that means that whole section of content has been moved to reference facts document “Glossary Housing Haiti” in preparation for splitting this and other Housing documents into research by more focused sub-topics, in which the glossary document will contain facts and definitions common to overall themes of: Housing rights, Land & Tenure, Land and Housing; Land Tenure Security; Rubble Debris disposal.
First major sharing via Blog on Haiti Rewired, May 15 2010, to which other people added insightful comments. I am now periodically sharing latest editions of this and other Haiti housing research notes documents, for other people to download the documents of most interest to them on:

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Yahoo Groups / HDRR = Haiti Disaster Recovery Research / Files / Recovery Challenges Haiti Prism which has developed economical and safe housing solutions to meet Haiti’s needs. HR = Haiti Rewired / Building Housing Communities / Discussions / DeMystifying Barriers to Haiti Recovery


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Users of my research hold Alister Wm. Macintyre harmless, and also the places I upload my research to, and agree that my copyright is reserved and that the information is available for the intended purpose of helping in the recovery of Haiti. Some of my research content is direct quotes from other sources. I try to give credit every time I do this. As I research more and more into some topics, my research documents also grow in size, and sometimes I feel the need to divide them into smaller documents focusing on various facets of the bigger picture. Earlier this research document split into:  Transitional Shelters – where are they going, and what organizations are running the show;  Land Ownership and related policy issues, which are ultimately the responsibility of the Gov of Haiti, but they could use help from other actors.
This latter document has also mushroomed, as I have delved into related topics. I am now in the process of doing another restructuring, where potential sub-topic documents may include:  Earthquake Rubble Debris  Eviction Scandal  Haiti Life Quality Statistics  Housing Policy Glossary  Human Rights Housing  Land Owner Documentation  Secure Land Tenure  Transitional Housing

There is a popular expectation by ordinary people donors to charities that in the aftermath of any disaster, that with enough donated funds, the humanitarian community ought to be able to wave its magic wand and for all natural disasters, and man made disasters, for all the victims miraculously make them whole again, very rapidly. Five Years after Katrina, there are people who have not yet been made whole again. There are people still living in those trailers which were shown to have certain poisons to be breathed by the occupants. Popular opinion, of general public who care about this subject, is there must be some racism, or other nefarious explanation for this reality. Many months after the Haiti earthquake, there’s over a million people in tent cities, the UN and World Bank saying it will be over a year before most of those people are in anything better, Haiti facing a parade of hurricanes, where no one seriously believes a tent city can survive a hurricane. On top of that there is an epidemic of rape and other violence. The conditions, for the people in the tent city camps, seem like criminal negligence. (Risk from hurricane roulette, epidemics of violence and sanitation problems, forced evictions, malnutrition.) In addition to the 350,000 or whatever number of Haitians were killed in the January 2010 earthquake, another 35,000 or so were killed after the earthquake because of failure to get them minimum aid.3


Stanley Lucas.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Living conditions in the tent cities are very poor, some getting worse not better. We saw from Ushahidi early after the disaster that many desperate SOS were apparently getting ignored. The crowd sourcing service had provision for an SOS to be updated, saying “these people got rescued” but that not only was happening, some SOS would go out again showing people had survived, but not yet been rescued from their horrible situation. The Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) published a report “We have been forgotten, conditions in Haiti displacement camps eight months after the earthquake”4 which showed that living conditions in the camps continue to violate basic human dignity. The camp investigation was conducted by a coalition of human rights organizations, including IJDH, its Haiti-based affiliate the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, the IJDH-coordinated Lawyers' Earthquake Response Network, and partner organizations LAMP for Haiti Foundation and University of San Francisco School of Law Center for Law and Global Justice. In 75% of families surveyed, at least one family member went an entire day without eating in the past week.5 In 50% of families surveyed, at least one of those family members was a child. "Our data show that aid to the camps has slowed and even stopped in some places, making life far worse for displaced families.6 Their basic human rights are being systematically violated," said Sarah Mi Ra Dougherty, co-author of the report. When IOM installed suggestion boxes in the camps, they were flooded with SOS from Haitians living there, in desperate conditions.7 One of the writers says “To this point they have not responded. It’s like screaming into the wind.” In whatever time it takes to resolve this national Haitian crisis, there is also a need to balance needs of legitimate land owners with that of the survivors of the latest disaster.

60% of tent camps are located on private land.8

Tens of thousands of Haitians, displaced by the quake, have been violently evicted from the camps, often in middle of night, with no advance warning. 9

Summary on Relief Web. Full report. Download the 4.3 Meg PDF. (Source: OCHA/Relief Web) Two months after the earthquake, March 8, the government of Haiti demanded that NGOs stop providing free food or water to the quake survivors, on the grounds that this was undermining the ability of Haitian farmers to make a living. While many NGOs disregarded the government demand, this dramatically reduced food aid to the camps. There were also numerous observers suggesting compromises, such as NGOs buying all food from Haitian farmers, to stimulate Haitian agricultural economy. However, USA law mandates that all food aid from US government must come from USA. Many NGOs get their food aid through that channel. 6 The US news media and popular opinion in USA has been demanding exactly that. There is great opposition in America to NGOs supplying a steady supply of aid. The opposition wants NGOs to spend all the money they get, as rapidly as possible, then leave, when there is no more funding. I do not share this opinion, but it does seem to be the majority view point. 7 New York Times Sept 19. 8 USAID Earthquake Fact Sheet #58, Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, page 2 9 We have been tracking instances of this in Architecture for Haiti Group: Forced Evictions of Quake
4 5

Survivors from Camps with no advance notice, (also Rape Epidemic, Accountability, Perspective). UN reports estimate 10-20,000 people evicted. What we have found looks like in excess of 50,000 so far.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

48% of families have been threatened with forced eviction since the earthquake. 10
Less than 5% of Haiti’s land is legally registered as to who owns it. 11

Around the world there are many disasters, and relief to those people seems to take forever before they are getting anything more than subsistence assistance. It is like once a nation gets into a fragile condition, they can never get out of it. The mainstream news media would have us believe that this is a scandal, corruption, incompetence, something is very wrong. When we look at reports issued by the UN, the NGOs, the governments involved in the humanitarian relief effort, it is evident that most of the mainstream news media has been painting a rather superficial picture of the Haitian challenges. It would be like a journalist going into a hospital or nursing home and showing all those sick people, who have been there for a while, not telling us anything about what diseases they may have, what the statistics are regarding recovery rates from different diseases, then saying that the failure of the doctors to cure these people instantaneously is evidence of something criminal. However, there are some challenges faced by the relief and recovery efforts, which are also reported in the news media. Many of these challenges do not seem to have good explanations in either the reports by the people on the scene, or in the news media stories. That is the focus of my research, where this document has my notes so far, on trying to make sense of multiple inter-related challenges. In this collection of housing research documents,12 I will try to wrap my mind around:      As I figure things out, explain so other people can also understand situation. Include sources of my info, so people interested in pursuing some of these threads a bit differently than me, do not need to duplicate my effort. What are the dimensions of Haiti challenges to be resolved? Are Haiti or International Laws being violated, with respect to Human Rights? If not, what laws should be added, to protect disaster survivors? Is the Debris Rubble challenge as serious as the news media has painted? It needs to be moved out of the way before replacement housing, but there is no place for it to go, and it cannot be used in replacement construction? Is that true? What is Land Tenure? How is that different from real estate ownership documentation?

We have been forgotten report of IJDH and partners. Situation Report 2010 July 15 Habitat for Humanity 12 Unfortunately, I often find relevant info much faster than I am able to take the time to clean up my research documents so that some of them also are a mess more often than not.
10 11


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

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What is Haiti’s system of real estate ownership documentation? Does this system work elsewhere in the world, why not in Haiti? Can it be fixed? How could it be fixed? What are the pitfalls of various proposed solutions? What are the priorities? What needs to be fixed as a pre-requisite to fixing other things?

This is an on-going research effort, where many of these questions have not yet been answered to my satisfaction. I freely admit that there’s a lot I do not understand, and may have got wrong. These challenges are a combination political, both national and international, economic and social, legal and administrative, that ought to be solved by Haiti, with or without international help. We constantly hear stories of how international interference in Haitian affairs has caused many problems.13 We can help with international advocacy to denounce international economic oppression that has done so much damage to the Haitian economy, and perhaps reverse that damage.

Tags (1 Jun 18)

When uploading this document, where tags or keywords invited, here are suitable choices: Confusion, Disputes, Documentation, Elites, Eviction, Gov, Haiti, Housing, Land Policy, Land Tenure, Lease, Ownership, Politics, Property, Real Estate, UN, World Bank, Description: Demystifying Haiti Real Estate owner documentation, how come it is a barrier to Haiti disaster recovery.

World Bank Recovery Steps (1 Feb 17)
While their 46 page 8.6 PDF report was delivered to the Gov of Haiti May 2010, it was not published on Relief Web until Sept 2010. (Source: OCHA/Relief Web) Key Decision Points, they say: 1. Establish early the best mechanism to manage the recovery. Clear modalities of operation will be critical. 2. Speed should over-ride detail planning in the early phase. “Cluster approach” can help establish leadership clarity. 3. Hold monthly decision meetings with international partners and senior government officials. This protects their time, while keeping their leadership in touch with what’s happening.


I have written of many of them in my research document on Haiti Political history.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

4. Tracking money and results needs to be started early. A strong and detailed Damage and Loss Assessment is critical to effectively allocate resources later. 5. Establishment of a Multi-Donor Trust Fund can help reduce fragmentation of aid. 6. Allow for flexible PFM arrangements. Projects do not need to be channeled through country systems if the regular budget cycle makes efficient implementation difficult. World Bank advice to the powers that be may or may not have been followed, but irrespective, there is little transparency to the world’s public who vote for political leaders behind the international community, and contribute financially to the NGOs involved. The main challenges for Haiti, they say: 1. Assessing the disaster’s environmental and social impacts. Many rapid assessments have been made, but need to be compiled and made accessible to decision makers in their own language. 2. Harmonizing Environmental and Social Guidelines. How best to develop a harmonized environmental and social framework for the various operations and agencies involved in the recovery and reconstruction, so as to facilitate cooperation, and avoid unnecessary complications and transaction costs. 3. Reinforcing Institutional Capability for effective environmental and social monitoring. According to this World Bank document we should now (Sep-Oct 2010) be close to a transition where emergency relief aid would diminish and reconstruction accelerate. They compare pros & cons of different models which could be used to help Haiti reconstruction. They make several statements that other people might have some arguments with:       The cluster system is working effectively in Haiti. Their pros and cons regarding moving the capital city. The systems used, in 2004 Tsunami recovery, are applicable in Haiti. USA FEMA is also a useful model. T-shelter decisions will have a spill-over for years into the reconstruction process. Transitional shelters, as defined by this report, 14 have any correlation with what is being called Transitional shelters in Haiti.

Transitional Shelters (as defined by the World Bank) are a habitable covered living space and a secure healthy living environment, with privacy and dignity to those within it during the period between a natural disaster and the achievement of a durable shelter solution. Affected population would be consulted on options. Sites selected to facilitate flexibility of population access to essentials of life – jobs, voting, community, basic services. Weather, and resistance to further disasters, to be considered in design and placement.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Pre-requisite Priorities Solution Path (Sep 17)
The powers that be in Haiti (international community, NGOs, Government agencies) are struggling how to solve many problems, which could take them months, years, or decades. While they are doing so, hundreds of thousands of Haitian lives are at dire risk of multiple hazards. They need to have intermediate solutions implemented, while working on the better solutions, for the long term. The powers that be, such as Gov of Haiti, UN, international community, NGOs, need to come to an agreement that certain needs should have a higher priority for fixing, than they have got so far. Then they need to have conferences of all stakeholders to discuss proposed plans for resolution, where the plans are published for public comment. The plans should include a hierarchy of someone in charge of a master plan, if that person is to be appointed by head of Haiti Gov or by Parliament, a way for the courts to address grievances against various portions of the plan, how it will be funded. This can be a model for good governance resolution of many challenges. Whatever the powers that be do, or are doing, need to be communicated to the Haitian people, through a healthy news media. When there is no communication of what is being done, the people either think nothing is being done, or have conspiracy theories to explain what they figure out is happening.15 This can lead to violent revolution. It leads to well meaning people, outside of Haiti, devoting great efforts to suggesting solutions, which are not needed, because the news media had painted a fantasy picture of nothing being done. Prior to the Jan 12 Earthquake, the Haiti “system” typically took people a year to figure out who was legal owner of some property, longer after the quake. Challenges solving the disaster aftermath need resolution faster than being constrained by that “system.” The Government of Haiti needs to be functioning effectively, including:  A declaration by Parliament that there is no such thing as unowned land. It either has a land owner, or it is owned by the government. Seizing land, with declaration that it is unowned, should be considered to be a crime. The only organization with authority to seize land by eminent domain is the national government, or the government that is over the department or municipality involved. The prior owner should get compensated, once prior ownership has been proven. It is not acceptable for one department to seize land from another department, or one municipality to seize land from another municipality. The Government of Haiti needs to have the power to enforce such declarations. A judicial system which resolves ownership disputes, eviction disputes, rape and death threats, in a fair and even handed manner;16

15 16 Multiple families can claim the same property as being theirs, according to Dessalines’ Children.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

For example, if a land owner wants an encampment of homeless evicted from the property, or farmers evicted from agricultural land, or for whatever reason, a better process could be: 1. Show proof to judge that this person is in fact owner of the land, and/or is legal representative of the land owner. This process to include opportunity for official property record keepers of government to determine if this land owner has in fact been paying relevant taxes, and there are no conflicting info regarding ownership claim. 2. Hearing is held with the judge at the site of the encampment, where the people there get to dispute the eviction, and date of hearing is announced in advance. 3. “Friends of the court” (UN IOM, NGOs, local municipality officials, etc.) explain what practical alternatives are available to these people. 4. If eviction approved, it be conducted in a humane fashion, and the site be posted appropriately, so additional homeless do not take up residence in the vacated property, in ignorance of the eviction order. 5. Have a phone #, which works, for people to get help, if there is an eviction without approval of the judge.

Enforce an immediate moratorium on evictions of displaced Haitians (which are outside any authorization by the court system) utilizing the labyrinth apparatus of established MINUSTAH, OCHA, GoH, community systems and partners, to protect basic human rights essential to survival, according to international and Haitian law;17 Government clarification of how tent city victims are to get protection from rapist gangs, alleged land owner eviction gangs, civil wars over who gets to control which property, and other “bandits”, etc. who have killed many quake survivors; Minimum standards, for human dignity of aid to disaster victims, mandated by government, with swift action against “humanitarian” violators; Certification of who is authorized to handle the land surveying, registration, etc.; Legislative reform to outlaw land tenure, replace with land ownership;

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The right of IDPs to remain (grounded in freedom of movement established by the CCPR, ratified by the Haitian government) as well as the rights of IDP children to a standard of living suitable for normal development, and to free education are also legally binding on the Haitian government by ratification of the CRC. (Conversely, the right to private property simply protects against “arbitrary deprivation” of property, and is not legally binding in international human rights law.)


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Local (Municipalities and Departments) review what ownership documentation exists, fill in the gaps with who decides for what property, pending judicial resolution of any disputes; Documentation of who owns what property and who has what rights to use what land – this accessible for anyone who seeks to rebuild there, remove rubble debris, etc. or condemn the land for the public good, reimbursing the former owners; Undocumented property where ownership cannot be verified should be reclaimed as state owned property and made available for auction unless eminent domain is applied; Designate more sites where it is legal to dump rubble debris; Public confidence in the government, as opposed to people not cooperating because they think everything is too corrupt; Literacy such that owners can trust the documentation which has been issued to them.

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In the absence of Gov of Haiti functioning as just described, it may be impractical to solve the challenges of Real Estate Ownership Documentation. A sane policy, for what to do about the Rubble Debris removal, needs either resolution of the ownership, so permission can be obtained from the right people, or a legislative mandate that supersedes ownership rights. Without the removal of the debris, it is impractical to rebuild on the property. The leadership of the nation, whoever they end up being, need to have a mutual consensus that these problems need to be solved, and agreement on what the end game should look like. According to IOM, at least 60% of tent camps are located on private land.18 The owners do not want the tent cities on their land, do not want quality services provided, which encourage the people to remain there. Those owners need appropriate financial compensation for the use of their land, or government mandates which supersede ownership rights, until such time that the tent cities temporary “solution” can be replaced with something better. Currently alleged land owners using excessive force to evict tent city dwellers, without warning, is a MAJOR problem epidemic in Haiti.19

USAID Earthquake Fact Sheet #58, Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, page 2 For more information, reports and to find out how you can advocate to stop camp evictions go to;; International Action Ties; Camps vanishing at gunpoint;;
18 19


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Civil Society interests should be encouraged to help solve Haiti’s immediate problems. In Leogane, for example, in the face of frustrating inaction by local officials, Haitian Roody Joseph20 negotiated one-on-one with owners of empty plots of land. His partnership with Samaritan's Purse is leading to the swift acquisition of these plots and construction of Tshelters to relocate the most vulnerable families off private land where they are being harassed. This model could be emulated all over Port-au-Prince. Organizational efforts to lease usable land or acquire land in existing camps need to be stepped up.

Haiti Housing Statistics (Glossary) Info from UN-Habitat as of 2001 was moved from here to “Glossary Housing Haiti”
research notes, which will have info common to Al Mac collection of research notes on multiple related Haiti Housing topics, instead of repeating core facts in each document.

Terminology and Concepts (Glossary)
Al Mac now has a separate “Glossary Housing Haiti” research notes document containing info common to multiple related Haiti Housing topics, such as links to additional major info sources, instead of repeating pretty much same core facts in each of those companion Haiti Housing research documents.

Earthquake Rubble Debris (Glossary) Al Mac moved this topic to a separate “Haiti Earthquake Rubble Debris Challenges” research notes document, when this main document became excessively

Defining Human Housing Rights (Glossary)
Al Mac moved this topic to a separate “Haiti Housing Human Rights” research notes document, when this main document became excessively large.

Land Tenure Big Picture (1 Mar 03)
People need to understand the intertwined issues, there needs to be the will to solve them, prioritize agreed upon solutions, then begin to implement them. Not getting this done is a barrier to permanent housing solutions, building Haiti back better than it was before recent disasters, so the nation can survive future disasters. For decentralization to work, there needs to be a reversal of the trend of people coming from rural areas and go looking for work and aid in the city. The Gov of Haiti needs to create agricultural sources of employment, with a master plan, mechanisms which would allow people in the countryside to earn money, creating schools and programs which



Contact Roody Joseph of Promised Provision Ministries. or +509 3854 7176

Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

encourage people to leave Port-au-Prince. Currently there is no plan, only uninformed wishful thinking. We cannot solve agrarian reform, if we don’t first confront the problem of environmental degradation, and address issues of social injustice, the problem of inequality. Land Tenure relates to the rights of people on land.21 Who has the right to own property, assuming they can get the money to buy it? Who may get a lease that spells out rights and obligations? What rights does an owner have to sell their property, pass it down to descendents? Agrarian reform is not just the land, it has to do with water, credit, technical assistance. According to Land Reform as a Pillar of Reconstruction by Beverly Bell in Haiti Rewired:22 when we talk about land security, there are three issues we have to take up, with serious problems at each level: 1. Which land are we talking about? 2. What rights do people have to this land? 3. And which people have these rights? Considering the last question, 30-35% of Haitian population don’t have birth certificates. If people can’t be identified, they can’t establish what relation or rights they have to a plot of land. As for determining the boundaries and owners of the property itself, the documents and titles are non-functional. Furthermore, people don’t have the resources for the extremely high costs of the procedures. The government has failed to create necessary conditions which would allow people to own proper title to their land. A nation may supposedly be a Democracy, but still have a class system passed down from historical times, when the King owned everything, and people got to use stuff at his pleasure, some people were Lords or Property Owners, other people (and their descendents) were second or third class citizens. There also needs to be a justice system which is functioning effectively, for the resolution of disputes. The first thing needed for true agrarian reform is political will, but Gov of Haiti is playing the role of observer more than really supporting people. Haiti has a whole group of government institutions which are involved in land matters, but which don’t have much of a relationship with each other. Land Tenure is a problem in many nations. Organizations like Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) exist which address land tenure housing/shelter

Definitions: Google; by
21 22


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

specifically.23 GLTN is a UN sponsored org (under UN Habitat) so figure out the implications? Are there any socio-cultural negatives to pure ownership based on 'western' modes, i.e., patterns of land ownership / agreements among families or friends that would be disrupted by the new system? Could these traditional patterns (collective ownership, vs. a single individual / couple, or a corporation, owning the land) be incorporated, in a replacement system? Pinochet's coup in Chile was in part sparked by land reform: 24 Allende's socialist administration was trying to institute land reform to break up the large holdings of the elite and distribute ownership to a larger part of the population; it wasn't moving fast enough for the poor / more 'radical' left-wing elements, and it was moving too quickly for the rich / conservative / right-wing, who had the army (and the CIA) on their side.. The last thing Haiti needs is another coup, with or without foreign intervention. Plus we could look at Mugabe's efforts in Zimbabwe to 'reclaim' the land of white landowners (many of whom had lived in the country for generations), which had disastrous effects on agricultural productivity, among other problems.

Land Policy Challenges (Sep 15)
Amazing facts.  Number people, per arable land area, almost as dense as India.25  Haiti is more mountainous than Switzerland.  In 1923, over 60% of Haiti's land was forested; by 2006, less than 2% was.26  Lack of trees contributes to significant soil erosion.  75% of energy demands are satisfied by wood fuel.27  Less than 5% of Haiti’s land is legally registered as to who owns it. 28  60% of tent camps are located on private land.29  1.5 million quake survivors will still be in tent cities more than a year and a half after the Jan 12 earthquake.30

44% of families primarily drink untreated contaminated water, for months after the quake.31 They do this even though the water makes them sick, because they do not

Thanks to Steve Michel on Haiti Rewired for this link. Thanks to David D. Gregory for pointing out this dimension on Haiti Rewired. 25 According to Wolfram Alpha, Haiti has 358 people per square kilometer (rank 31) while India has 397 (rank 28) 26 Wikipedia. 27 Earth Conscious Magazine. 28 Situation Report 2010 July 15 Habitat for Humanity 29 USAID Earthquake Fact Sheet #58, Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, page 2 30 Pamela Cox, World Bank 's vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, stated this Sep 14 at a conference on the Americas in Miami. 31 We have been forgotten report of IJDH and partners.
23 24


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

have money to buy something better. Unaccompanied women cannot go get water, for fear of rape or lesser attacks. 32 78% of families lived without enclosed shelter.

According to Haiti Country Studies and Haiti Security, Land Tenure and Land Policy:33 QUOTE “For historical reasons, Haiti's patterns of land tenure are quite different from those of other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The three major forms of land tenancy in Haiti are ownership, renting (or subleasing), and sharecropping. 60% of farmers own their land, although some lack official title to it. As a consequence of high rural population density and deteriorating soils, competition over land appeared to be intensifying. Haiti's land density, that is, the number of people per square kilometer of arable land, jumped from 296 in 1965 to 408 by the mid-1980s-- a density greater than that in India.” UNQUOTE Data is often incomplete, not up-to-date.

According to the Miami Herald, Haiti needs substantive reform of property laws.   Haitians transfer ownership of property informally, because of high transactional costs of dealing with government officials perceived to be corrupt. Inheritance laws mean land gets divided up to multiple family members of deceased owners. This fragmentation, of ownership of family property, undermines incentives for long term improving the land such as reforestation.

Elites (Dec 28)

Some people speak of the well-to-do land owners having an unfair influence on the Haiti political scene. One of my informants told me: 34 Look into the Mevs family. Below is a list of the rest:
Madsen Brandt Lacombe Gardere Bigio

These are some of the behind the scene players in Haitian politics.

We have been forgotten report of IJDH and partners. Also Wikipedia. 34 Greg D.
32 33


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Haiti Red Zones (0 Oct 03)

Since I became a student of Haiti immediately after the Jan 2010 earthquake, I have seen multiple stories about Haiti Red Zones, where apparently it is illegal to provide any residents in there with any aid. It was pretty much a mystery to me how come a nation would have such arrangements, until an article in Haiti Libre, where Commissioner of Haitian National Police is basically stating that there are some neighborhoods with high levels of crime. Instead of solving the problems, Haiti just treats everyone in there like they are all felons.

Forced Eviction Risk (1 Apr 19)

According to an article in the New York Times,35 about 40% of the world’s population is subject to forcible eviction from their homes because of a lack of documentation proving ownership. It is close to 70% in Haiti.

Land Tenure Reform (0 Sep 17)
   

Putting a legal document in the hands of the poor land owner/farmers, gives them: 36 access to 21st century of bank credit and the world market; 37 providing an incentive to make their land productive instead of migrating to the cities and depending on factory jobs; increasing the standard of living of many poor farmers into the middle class; a greater constituency to influence the direction and policies of a democratic government.

This means the Elites will become a political and economic minority, which is not acceptable.

Recent History Abuses (1 Mar 03)

According to Land Reform as a Pillar of Reconstruction by Beverly Bell in Haiti Rewired:38 In his first term, President Aristide issued the decree to create INARA.39 But it was President Préval, during his first term, who took the first action toward agrarian reform in the Artibonite Valley, in 1999 through 2001.

NYT March 1 2011 by Julie Satow, titled “Born of 9/11, an effort to rebuild shattered Haiti”, I saved a copy of the article, calling my copy “Shelter Rebuild 2011 Mar 01 NYT” because I store my downloads, named after general content focus, grouped with others of same general focus. 36 Thanks to Michel Francois for explaining this on Haiti Rewired. 37 Also there is risk of losing your land forever if you default on bank loans, or if for other reasons the bank comes to claim your land, such as someone doing identity theft on you, then as alleged owner, selling your property. 38 by 39 National Institute for the Application of Agrarian Reform (INARA), which is part of the Haitian Ministry of Agriculture.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Close to 6,000 families in the Artibonite got a total of 5,000 carreaux [15,938 acres] of redistributed land. The Artibonite has between 30,000 and 40,000 carreaux [95,629 and 127,506 acres] total. They gave each peasant half a carreaux [1.6 acres], which came out of the holdings of large landowners and also the state. The goal was to see to it that the peasants could earn an income higher than the minimum wage. The land each family got was practically nothing, but it was the compromise solution given land pressures and the number of people who were demanding land at the time. This was part of a system of complimentary actions, which because they were not taken, the effort was doomed to failure.

People weren’t made owners of those small plots. They didn’t get titles to the land, only given a usufruct contract [the right to use the land and own all products from it] with the state. This made the situation very fragile. People couldn’t appeal to the justice system. Then other challenges arose, like a blight called black straw which affected rice, plus hurricanes, and droughts and floods. After the [2004] coup d’état which removed Aristide, Latortue came in as Prime Minister and gave land reform the coup de grâce. He disapproved of the reforms which had been taking place in the Artibonite, so large landowners started taking land away from the peasants. And that’s when the peasants began to fight back again. In fact, the conflict continues to rage in the Artibonite. Close to 40% of the people who’ve been given land by the government in the Artibonite have had their land outright stolen from them. No concrete actions have been taken to see to it that the government’s authority is respected. Then came the second administration of President Préval. He came in with a discourse of reconciliation, a mentality of bringing back peace in society, so the landrelated problems were set aside. They didn’t deal with them. Today, INARA has a program with the Inter-American Development Bank to remove obstructions on 28,000 carreaux [89,254 acres] in the Artibonite so peasants currently working that land are legally protected. Other, smaller programs are underway around the country.

If Haiti wants to create a society in which the rule of law is respected, we have to allow and support the institutions, whose purpose is to defend people’s rights, to play their role.

World Bank Key Decisions (1 Feb 17)

While their 46 page 8.6 PDF report was delivered to the Gov of Haiti May 2010, it was not published on Relief Web until Sept 2010. (Source: OCHA/Relief Web) Key Decision Points:


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

     

A legal framework to address land acquisition and occupation should be developed for immediate reconstruction needs. The diverse categories of affected people will need to be addressed. Gender considerations should be included. Forms of proof of ownership other than existing formal land title might be considered. A second phase might consider broader system strengthening and reform. Involving communities strengthens buy-in and promotes success.

UN Habitat (Sep 19)

The UN-Habitat agency40 has a global campaign for secure tenure. Mike Perrett is studying what they are doing, and feeding useful tit bits to Al Mac.

Patents (1 Jun 14)

A related topic to having good quality land ownership documentation, is intellectual property protection. This topic has been discussed in the comment section of Haiti Rewired Architecture Group.41 There are some very serious implications there, where NGOs and others, like Monsanto, may do anything they please in Haiti with intellectual property, while Haitians have no such protection or ability to profit from inventions, or new processes. When the NGOs finally leave Haiti, they can charge an arm and a leg for Haitians to continue using whatever they leave behind: structures; methods; any kind of intellectual property.

Defining Owner Documentation (Sep 11)
A system of clearly identifying geographic boundaries of a piece of property, spells out who is the owner of that property. This documentation is in the possession of both the owner, and the government, so that the owner has undisputed proof of ownership, and independent investigators can figure out who owns what. When there are financial loans against the value of the property, sometimes the deed of ownership is held by the financial institution until the loan is paid off. To be of any value a claim to any property must be accompanied by a verifiable and legal property description, which historically has used references to natural or manmade boundaries such as trees rivers hills (whose placement can move over time) highways. Sometimes tracts of land are broken into chunks with unique numbering, then who owns

40 41


Thanks to Facebook contact Mike Perrett for bringing this agency to my attention.

Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

which ones, or they are broken into smaller portions. In recent years, with the advent of GPS, longitude and latitude is more often included. Improvements on the land, such as buildings, crops agriculture, can sometimes be owned or leased to someone other than the land owner. For example, there can be mining leases, grazing rights, with different rights granted to different people using the same real estate for different purposes. These are often for a limited time frame, and usage spelled out in the lease, such as access to water. This is similar to an apartment lease, where the tenant may stay there so long as certain rules are obeyed, and the rental fees paid on time. Each nation, state, locality, etc. can have its own laws regarding how all this is managed, what can be done by owners of the land, and people using the various improvements.

Quebec Parallel (Sep 14)

I had posted the above Land Tenure situation, and how Real Estate Ownership is done in Haiti, to a blog in Haiti Rewired, and the topic came up in other threads, such as this one: Rick Davis informed me: QUOTE The system you describe is the same as that used to record land title transfer in Quebec. It is based upon the historical French system using Notairies. It is terribly inefficient. The fact it is inefficient and prone to greed, theft, bribery and incompetence does not prevent Quebec from having a vibrant and workable property market. I have bought and sold land in Quebec. The system is frustrating and very complex compared to what I am used to experiencing in the US, however it can work. UNQUOTE I asked: @ Rick: In Haiti, many people buy and sell land without going through the official system, because they believe, probably correctly, that there's lots of corruption in the official system. This would be like people buying and selling cars and their license plates without registering the sales with the DMV like with the Times Square Bomber, except the property could go through several generations of families resales off the government books. I doubt that Quebec also uses that part of the Haiti system. Rick replied: @ Alister: Yes in Quebec transactions are often left unregistered because in fact the notaries are the official record keepers of property ownership. They have quasigovernmental responsibilities and wide latitude in how they do their work.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Apparently the Quebec authorities42 are aware of some minor problems with their system, which they are working on fixing.

Haiti Resolution (0 Sep 12)

In multiple threads about this topic, I pointed at the planning for the Rebuild Haiti Back Better Plan which was presented and approved at the UN March 31 Donor’s conference. In the month leading up to that, the powers that be held meetings with all Haiti stakeholders seeking consensus on the plan, and how to implement it. I believe the Land Tenure Ownership Documentation could be solved in a similar way.     Agree a plan is needed, lay out a proposal, hold discussions with all stakeholders to refine it. The plan includes how to finance it, and any legislative requirements to authorize it.

Delaleu Solution (0 Sep 12)

In the run up to 2010 Haiti Presidential Election, where 19 were approved by CEP to participate, there were many others, not accepted by CEP. One of them proposed a solution

to this problem, as part of his platform. Dr. Eddy Delaleu is a member of the Rotary Club International, is President, Founder, and Chief Executive Officer of Operation Hope for Children of Haiti (OHFCOH). He has a website and did an interview on August 8, 2010 on BlogTalkRadio. Here is the google document for his plan for Haiti. MIA Aug-20 Here is his solution for the Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation challenge.

Land Documentation: Land documentation is needed to eliminate the uncertainty that

has historically surrounded land issues in Haiti and exacerbated by the lack of documentation of government land distributions and other land transactions that has left citizens with little or no proof that they are in lawful possession of their land. o The program will be initiated through planning meetings with local authorities and community meetings to inform local residents about the project. o Land law information will be created and provided. o Sketch maps will be created with inventory of existing household and land. o Titles will be awarded




Reform of the Québec cadastre.

Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Wise Re-Building Standards (1 Feb 17)
A civil engineer appointed by Preval to resolve the land issue, Marie George Salomon, says 43 his plan is to raze the most damaged parts of Fort National and build orderly rows of woodframed shelters. But the disorganized way in which the neighborhood grew, with narrow alleys and houses on top of houses, means the area held far more people than the rebuilt one ever will.

Haitian People Confusion (Sep 21)

USAID Fact Sheet # 72 dated 2010 Sep-1744 reports: As of September 14 2010, IOM had registered more than 300,000 families residing in 1,193 displacement sites. IOM plans to complete initial registrations in all of Haiti’s estimated 1,215 settlements by the end of September; however, Phase II registrations to verify the data will continue through the end of 2011. IOM registrations represent preliminary, unverified figures, as data collected earlier in the year is likely out-of-date due to the transient nature of spontaneous settlement populations. Initial registration data indicates that nearly 90 percent of displaced individuals reside in camps near their former houses. According to IOM, approximately 57 percent of registered displaced persons were tenants prior to the earthquake, and the majority indicated a willingness to depart areas of origin if given the opportunity to become landowners. IOM noted that many settlement residents harbor the

misconception that moving to planned camps entitles them to land ownership. Of settlement residents who owned land prior to the earthquake, the
majority would prefer to return to their former home, regardless of the condition. According to the article “No Plan in Sight for Haiti Homeless” 45, many camp dwellers believe a rumor that IOM registration of them, is a first step to having them evicted. IOM spokespersons say this is untrue. "Those who expect progress immediately are unrealistic and doing a disservice to the many people who are working so hard," the chief US diplomat said, during a meeting at the UN. 46

Government officials confusion (1 Feb 17)

Goh and UN officials have designated which homes are safe to return to, and which need only minor repairs, before safe for the people to live in again. Of a total of 227,543 registered families in Port au Prince, 
43 44

61% said they were renters.

LA Times Sep 20. Relief Web summary, with link to full Detail PDF. (Source: OCHA/Relief Web) 45 LA Times Sep 20 and reprinted elsewhere. 46 Agency French Press (AFP) Sep 20 via Relief Web. (Source: OCHA/Relief Web)


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

  

20% of families reported owning and ability to repair their homes, 11% also reported to own but can not repair their homes. 9% remains unknown.

Nearly half of those concerned (46%) said they wanted to live in a camp This confirmed by Fysh Adam, head of Shelter group who said "most victims prefer to remain in camps because they are not obliged to pay rent". How do these people, mostly tenant, may return to their homes when they have lost their sources of income? 47

NGO confusion (0 Oct-03)

When decisions of Haitian government are not communicated to the people via news media or UN clusters, then that is the same as not making any decision. One example of that is the Preval saying that land needs to be designated that can be used for the replacement housing, then the government will condemn it, and can compensate the legitimate owners, if they prove that they are in fact the legitimate owners. This kind of info needs to be shared on a web sites of GoH, UN, Haiti reconstruction efforts, because people making decisions should not be stymied for months or years for lack of knowing this. We see NGOs not knowing this, when they say they cannot build because of the lack of ownership clarification, when in fact they need to ask the government to identify the land where the government authorizes them to build, and get appropriate government documentation and UN protection. The Government documentation to supersede any other ownership claims, because the other owners will have to go to relevant court to prove their claims, then get paid out of government condemnation fund. UN protection needed because of the widespread thug-gangs that operate outside of GoH judicial system. Jean-Pierre Taschereau senior manager to international emergencies to Canadian Red Cross said "Difficult to rebuild in cities like Port-au-Prince, because the rubble of the earthquake are still there and in the countryside , vast land remain unoccupied due to a legal tangle. It is legally impossible to construct permanent or transitional shelters on these lands, where the identity of owners remains uncertain." This situation remains unresolved and raised by all NGOs involved in the construction of such shelters. 48 Alistair Lamb, Haiti country director for the J/P HRO charity of Hollywood actor Sean Penn, which manages the Petionville Golf Club survivors camp, says "The main issue is space, where do you evacuate to?"49 "Take a helicopter flight above Port-au-Prince and you will see sizable

areas of open land. So don't tell me it's lack of space," said Leonard Doyle, spokesman
Haiti Libre Oct 1 Haiti Libre Oct 1 49 Reuters Sep 29.
47 48


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

for the International Organization for Migration (IOM).50 "The society needs to decide for itself, whether it's going to keep people in squatter camps, or organized camps, and whether it's going to allocate resources for the move." Many say moving quake survivors out of the Port-au-Prince camps, where they receive food, water, protection and medical care -- and pay no rent -- is pointless unless the government can offer real economic livelihoods, jobs and income opportunities.

Other People Confusion (Sep-22) "Less than 5% of Haiti’s land is legally registered"

NO that does not mean that 95% belongs to the Government. NO that does not mean it is the Government doing the forced evictions. NO it also does not mean that Haiti has any "unowned" land. There is land that is simultaneously registered to 10 or more different owners, using a system of government documentation that cannot figure out which ownership is the legal one. There is no one in Haiti government who is in charge of fixing this. There is land that used to be legally registered to one community, which is declared by the laws of that community to be for a particular purpose, then another community sends in its thugs to jail all the elected leaders of the first community, to do a land grab. The winner is which is whichever entity has the strongest thug-army. This goes on because the Haiti judicial system is seriously broke, people settle things with violence, not courts.

The evictions are conducted by:

 

People who claim to own the land, or their agents, who usually do not have any legal right to the land, what they have is more thug-power than the people who are in the camps. Plus they may have more counterfeit-skills when it comes to creating alleged ownership documentation. Government which does not want camps in certain places, such as on the grounds of government offices, which collapsed, like the National Palace. Combined efforts, after the powers that be decided that re-opening the National Sports stadium to sports games was more important than helping the 8,000 quake survivors who had camped inside the stadium. Similar interest by private schools. Street Gangs whose interest is other than the real estate or national recovery

I have a thread on Haiti Rewired where I have been posting links to articles about the forced evictions, which I think are now approaching 100,000 people, some of whom have had multiple evictions ... they find a place to camp, then in the middle of night a bunch of thugs, with guns and other weapons, drive the people out like cattle, and the people are lucky to salvage any possessions ... they find another place to camp, and then it happens again.



Reuters Sep 29.

Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Haiti is not a developed nation with systems and infrastructure familiar to people in the developed world. Lots of education about the differences have been brought out in the comments section of Architecture for Haiti group on Haiti rewired, such as:  Few businesses in Haiti pay taxes, so governance of common infrastructure such as paved roads, schools and sewers are difficult to maintain.

Gov Land Water Pollution (1 Apr 04)
Lots of people are confused about the availability of land for recovery projects, and priorities of Gov of Haiti and other authorities supposedly working on building Haiti back better. Stuart Leiderman forwarded the following on March 29, 2011 thru MPHISE contacts: thanks to Jacqueline Charles for this story in Miami-Herald, and to recent-Haiti builder Jack Tucker <> of Tucker Resources LLC, for noticing it today. it's significant for more than meets the eye: - it proves that the government has land that it can use at its discretion. while leaving the fate of a million of its citizens up to the mercy of foreign NGO's, and not relocating the victims after more than a year, it nonetheless found land - more than six hundred acres - to accommodate the development plans of a private Korean textile company. - the headline quotes "some 20,000 jobs to be created" while the text states "the possibility of 20,000 new jobs," but an Associated Press article by Jonathan Katz from last September, per below, stated 10,000 jobs. - the article boasts that the company would be "pumping 6,000 tons of ground water a day," not mentioning that the water is largely for dyeing fabric in what is acknowledged as one of the most polluting of all industrial practices, per the World Bank below. a ton is 250 gallons, so six thousand tons is one-and-a-half million gallons. this is not to water petunias, this is customarily to flush dyes and other fabricating agents into the environment. - according to the source below, "Korea has already been identified as the water deficient nation and most of the used water is released in the form of wastewater." what better reason to come to Haiti? instead of a nice water bottling plant to help ten million people fight and survive cholera, and reach the Millennium Development Goal for water, health and hygiene, the Haitian government along with the United States and the InterAmerican Development Bank have chosen to let a Korean company pump the northern aquifer to convert pure water to wastewater, with a sidestream of T-shirts for export. what equity is there in that kind of operation? and where will that wastewater go? - while the country is justifiably crawling with technologists, entrepreneurs, potters and 26 Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

water-evangelists trying to purify and save Haiti's water, here we have a single source that needs to take the process in the opposite direction. - indicates that the Interim Recovery Commission acknowledged and approved the project last December: Title: Northern Industrial Park, Phase 1 Project Description: The GOH, in collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United States Government (USG), is developing a globally competitive 150 hectare industrial park in the northern region of the country that will host exportoriented garment manufacturers and other businesses. The North Park Project will, in Phase 1 (2012-2014), accommodate approximately 18,000 workers in the garment industry, growing to support 65,000 permanent jobs once the Park is fully developed in the second phase of the project, increasing Haitian garment industry jobs by more than 200%. The industrial park will be owned by the GOH and operated by a private sector management company. In addition to jobs in the garment industry – 60% of which traditionally are held by women – the Park and associated investments in electricity, housing and port infrastructure create opportunities for small businesses, suppliers, food vendors and local farmers. And, as workers spend their income; additional jobs will be created in the local and regional economy. Partner: Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United States Government (USG) Implementer: GOH-Private Company Total Budget: 174,000,000 over 2 years/Funded: 174,000,000 Donor: Unspecified Approved: December 14, 2010 - if I remember correctly, this was the meeting where twelve commission board members revolted against the chairman for treating them as rubber-stamps. I think the commission should revisit this particular project. it is one thing for a poor country to indenture its workforce for such an overpriced and lowpriority item as T-shirts - second only in lowest nobility to throwaway diapers - but to deplete and filth its limited groundwater in the deal as well? harrumph! thank you, Stuart Leiderman -------


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Textile Jobs (1 Apr 04) Some 20,000 jobs to be created at new industrial park in Haiti U.S., Haiti team up with Korean garment firm to create 20,000 jobs and country’s first fabric mill. By Jacqueline Charles CARACOL, Haiti -- Standing in the middle of the dirt-poor rural village on a cool afternoon, the neatly dressed Korean garment tycoon surveyed the rugged mountaintops and surrounding bean fields as he tried to envision the future a year from now. But it wasn’t until Kim Woong Ki stared into the curious faces surrounding him that the chairman of Korea’s leading manufacturer and exporter of textiles and clothing, realized the real value of his $78 million business investment decision. “I didn’t really set out to bring people hope,’’ Kim said, as he rode away from the village on Haiti’s northern coast halfway between the cities of Cap-Haitien and Ouanaminthe. “Coming here, seeing the site and walking among the people, I realized that what I’m going to do here in creating the factory and the jobs, is give people hope.’’ A major supplier to U.S. retailers Target, Wal-Mart, Kohl’s and GAP, Sae-A is expanding its garment-making operations to Haiti as the anchor tenant in a new 617-acre industrial park being created in the country’s underdeveloped northern region. For the first time, Haiti’s 2 million-a-week T-shirt-stitching industry will also include the country’s only knit and dyeing mill with Sae-A pumping 6,000 tons of ground water a day for its export operations. “For the first time ever, apparel sewn in Haiti will be using fabric made in Haiti,’’ said Kim, whose company already has operations in Guatemala and Nicaragua. With the company gearing up to recruit Haitian managers as early as next month for a planned March 2012 opening, the deal is already having a multiplier effect. Local hotel and restaurant owners are optimistic, as are potential workers like 23-year-old Luckner Peter, about the possibility of 20,000 new jobs in the area. Luckner was among dozens of young men hired by the government at 50 cents a hole to help install a fence around the property. “This is going to change our community,’’ said Louicot Alexandre, president of the chamber


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

of commerce for Northeast Haiti, a region of about 300,000 residents. “This shows that Haiti is prepared to do business with the world, and it’s OK to do business with Haiti.’’ Valued at about $300 million, the job-creation package is one of Haiti’s biggest foreign investments. U.S. officials call it an “unprecedented collaboration’’ between the Haitian and U.S. governments, and the Inter-American Development Bank. So much is at stake that some Haiti observers mused that it was perhaps one of the reasons for the United States’ heavy involvement in the Nov. 28 presidential election debacle. Twice before, Kim had tried to invest in Haiti. Each time, his decision was thwarted. There was political turmoil in 1994 after he signed a memorandum of understanding and then the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake shortly after another trip. “We have in our business proposal a huge chapter called hurdles and obstacles,’’ said Lon Garwood, advisor to Kim. “Our initial business proposal didn’t look like a business proposal. It looked like why we can’t do business in Haiti.’’ But that was before the U.S. government stepped in, and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal plea on behalf of Haiti during a Korea visit. With the Haitian government donating the land and compensating farmers, the U.S. plans to build 5,000 houses, a 25-megawatt electricity grid for the park and surrounding area, and a waste and water treatment plant as part of its $124 million contribution. The Inter-American Development Bank is contributing over $100 million for construction of buildings and roads. “These kinds of investment deals are incredibly hard,’’ said Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s chief of staff, who has been credited with leading the effort for more than a year to bring together all sides including Haiti’s private sector. “They take prolonged coordination and consultation, and accommodation and negotiation. But ultimately what they really take is an audacious amount of faith.’’ It is this faith, the U.S. and others are banking on as they seek to revive Haiti’s postearthquake shattered economy by helping the nation’s garment industry take better advantage of U.S.-Congress approved duty-free trade legislation. Once boasting 100,000 jobs, the industry has just 28,000. About 9,000 of those were created because of the removal of tariffs. Last May, a sympathetic Congress extended the trade benefits to 2020. Now Haiti’s private sector is hoping to attract 60,000 new jobs with the industrial park in the north. They are also eyeing another park in the south, just outside of the quake-ravaged


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

capital of Port-au-Prince. “We are no longer talking just about garment assembly. We are talking about a true textile industry short of planting cotton. That is what is being developed,’’ said Georges Sassine, who is also responsible for implementing the U.S. Congress-approved duty-free legislation benefiting the garment industry. Sae-A’s revenues are more than doubled Haiti’s garment industry’s $512 million exports for 2009. In addition to Haitian managers, the company has committed to pay line workers at least four times Haiti’s average $640 GDP per capita. The facility itself will boast a cooling system, recreational facilities and a football field. With the construction bid package currently being prepared to go out next month, the first phase has already been laid out. Sae-A’s operations will occupy 126 of 185 acres, said Mark D’Sa, a Miami-based executive with GAP who has been on loan with the State Department to help Haiti better take advantage of trade legislation. D’Sa said other potential clients include a furniture maker and two other apparel companies. Not far from the site, and separate from the industrial park, the Dominican government is planning to build a university. Still, the deal has detractors with some protesting using farmland for what some are calling “sweatshops.’’ Government officials say the land belongs to the state and compensation packages are being worked out for farmers who have been illegally living off it. “We have sought investments outside of Port-au-Prince for years,’’ said Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. “In Haiti, the real tough infrastructure investments in energy, ports, and industrial zones have largely been avoided. It’s these investments that will generate the productive base of which Haiti can grow and prosper economically.’’ --

Quake-hit Haiti Looks to Textile Park for Jobs Boon Newsroom (Reuters) - The U.S. and Haitian governments signed a deal on Tuesday with a South Korean garment manufacturer to develop an industrial park in quake-hit Haiti in one of the largest investment projects in the poor Caribbean country.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

The project with South Korea's Sae-A Trading Company Limited is also backed by the InterAmerican Development Bank and intends to breathe new life into Haiti's garment export industry and its shattered economy after a devastating earthquake a year ago. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti is still reeling from the January 12, 2010, disaster that killed up to a quarter of a million people. Haiti's government and its international aid partners have appealed for more private capital to help the country rebuild its aid-dependent economy. The framework agreement signed in Port-au-Prince calls for the construction of an industrial park in northern Haiti and aims to appeal to textile manufacturers who could benefit from expanded duty-free access to the U.S. clothing market under increased American trade preferences for Haitian apparel. Sae-A is expected to be an anchor tenant in the industrial park and employ as many as 20,000 people, becoming the largest private-sector employer in Haiti. Published on Jan 12 2011 -- Sae-A Trading announces Haiti opening Korea-based Sae-A Trading signed an agreement on September 20 to open plants in Haiti it claimed will employ 10,000 people. Sae-A Chairman Woong-Ki... <snip> -- The Associated Press September 20, 2010, 8:47PM ET US, Haiti accord paves way for Korean factories By JONATHAN M. KATZ PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti U.S. and Haitian officials signed an agreement Monday with a South Korean clothing manufacturer to build garment factories that they said will employ 10,000 people in this quake-ravaged nation.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton signed the memorandum along with Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and the heads of the International Finance Corporation and Inter-American Development Bank. Chairman Woong-Ki Kim signed on behalf of his Seoul-based Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd. The agreement, signed on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York, is part of an effort to inject foreign investment and create jobs for Haiti, a deeply poor Caribbean country. Clinton also signed an agreement with French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner to provide a combined $50 million toward rebuilding the damaged and underfunded general hospital of the State University of Haiti. Restoring Haiti's once-profitable garment assembly sector has been a cornerstone of economic plans for Haiti even before the Jan. 12 quake -- pushed most notably by the secretary of state's husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, in his capacity as U.N. special envoy to Haiti. The U.S. Congress lent further support by extending tax-free import advantages for Haitian-assembled textiles. But those efforts have been criticized by labor groups, students and others in Haiti, who say the factories pay workers too little to feed their families. Under a compromise law passed in 2009, Haitian garment factories must pay workers about $3 a day -- less than two-thirds the minimum wage for other jobs in the country. Clinton rejected that criticism Monday as she praised the agreement. "These are not just any jobs. These are good jobs with fair pay that adhere to international labor standards," Clinton said. She added that the agreement sends the message "Haiti is open for business again." Bellerive thanked the U.S. State Department for brokering the agreement, calling it a "great day for Haiti." The proposed industrial park will be put in one of two locations: an undeveloped area north of Port-au-Prince or on the country's northern coast near the port of Cap-Haitien, the InterAmerican Development Bank said in a statement. The Associated Press first reported Sae-A Trading was talking with Haitian officials and businessmen in July about putting a garment factory park north of the capital near government-expropriated land at Corail-Cesselesse.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

AP learned those negotiations were handled by Gerard-Emile "Aby" Brun, who also headed the Haitian government commission that relocated several thousand homeless families to a parcel of land his company owned at Corail. Criticism by the international aid group Oxfam and others that the relocation site selected was too remote grew after much of the supposedly flood-safe camp was destroyed by water in a summer storm. The camp would likely be the primary source of workers for those factories. Sae-A Trading is a major supplier for Wal-Mart, Target, Gap, Banana Republic and Levi's, the International Finance Corporation said. Among its 20 existing factories are plants in Nicaragua, Guatemala, Indonesia and Vietnam. Associated Press Writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report from New York. -- September 30, 2009 by Aaron Raybin The apparel industry has a big pollution problem. The World Bank estimates that 17 – 20 percent of industrial water pollution comes from textile coloration and treatment ( They’ve also identified 72 toxic chemicals in our water solely from textile dyeing, 30 of which are permanent. This represents an appalling environmental issue for the industry. <snip> ---

Korean Textile Pollution (1 Apr 04) Waste minimization and cost reduction in dyeing processes in Korea Textile dyeing processes are applied to almost all the textile products during its production stage. It consumes massive amount of water, chemicals, and energy through consecutive wet treatments. Air pollutants come from the emission of CO2 generated from heat energy during the dyeing process. In terms of water pollution, the dyeing process consumes a lot of water in a product to water ratio of about 1:200 by weight. Korea has already been identified as the water deficient nation and most of the used water is released in the form of wastewater.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

-- xtilsnp1.pdf Textile Industry. Sector Notebook Project, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, September 1997 Most manufactured textiles are shipped from textile mills to commission dyeing and finishing shops for wet processing, although some firms have integrated wet processing into their operations. A wide range of equipment is used for textile dyeing and finishing (EPA, 1996). Much of the waste generated from the industry is produced during the wet processing stages; Relatively large volumes of wastewater are generated, containing a widerange of contaminants that must be treated prior to disposal. Significant quantities of energy are spent heating and cooling chemical baths and drying fabrics and yarns (Snowden-Swan, 1995). [p28] <snip> Dyeing operations generate a large portion of the industry’s total wastewater. The primary source of wastewater in dyeing operations is spent dyebath and washwater. Such waste water typically contains by-products, residual dye, and auxiliary chemicals. Additional pollutants include cleaning solvents, such as oxalic acid. Of the 700,000 tons of dyes produced annually worldwide, about 10 to 15 percent of the dye is disposed of in effluent from dyeing operations (Snowden-Swan, 1995). However, dyes in wastewater may be chemically bound to fabric fibers (ATMI, 1997b). The average wastewater generation &om a dyeing facility is estimated at between one and two million gallons per day. Dyeing and rinsing processes for disperse dyeing generate about 12 to 17 gallons of wastewater per pound of product. Similar processes for reactive and direct dyeing generate even more wastewater, about 15 to 20 gallons per pound of product (Snowden-Swan, 1995). [p40-41]

Haiti Challenges (0 Sep-21)
In summary, this is a huge mess. It is worse than anarchy. Many of Haiti’s problems are also found in much of the developing world, so this is a condemnation not of individual nations with the problems, but state of art of civilization helping our fellow humanity resolve major challenges. Most everyone knows that Haiti has rainy season, during which construction can be difficult, followed by Hurricane season. There’s a need for housing, for the millions displaced by the disaster, which is protected against additional Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Rapists, Evictions. How come taking so long to get it? In the early days, major problem was time to repair


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

capacity of sea ports, air ports, roads, government agencies, to handle the relief cargo traffic. Later, UN cluster reports said the hold up was Land Tenure, so here I try to wrap my mind around what that problem is. Turns out it is a combination of Land Tenure and Real Estate Ownership Documentation. Many people say there is “a problem.” As we dig into defining what it is, we find a series of understatements. John Holmes, the U.N. emergency relief coordinator, said QUOTE "There wasn't a proper land registry system (before the earthquake) and this complicates the issue of the government taking land and allocating it for resettlement," he told AlertNet, adding that legal documents relating to land title were destroyed in the disaster. UNQUOTE That is an example of a politically-correct UNDERSTATEMENT that does not clearly communicate the depth and seriousness of the problem. There WAS a system, but it was not being used in a consistent manner, plus to call the Haiti “system” a system, is an insult to the word “system”. In reality there were multiple “systems” with no pretense of integrating them. A better understanding is depicted in World Bank‘s 2010 ―Ease of Doing Business Indicators, which provide an objective measure of business regulations and their enforcement across 183 economies, Haiti ranked 151st , making it very difficult to start a legitimate business. 51

While registering property in OECD and Latin American countries takes an average of 25.0 and 70.4 days respectively, it takes over a year in Haiti.
It is an extremely confusing and complicated story in Haiti, compared to other nations.

Government records, of who owned what property, were paper records in buildings demolished by the quake. The records were manual, not kept current, backups also in buildings demolished by the quake. Haiti has a high illiteracy rate, which allegedly can include government officials.

Land grabbing was seen on day one after the earthquake. Some people are returning to
their homes only to find that they can't get back into their house because it is now being occupied by someone else.

In many cases, the legitimate owner of property may have been killed in the quake, so there’s the question of who inherits that property. After the Jan 12 Earthquake, thousands of bodies were buried without any identification of who got buried. Most land titles have been passed down orally from one generation to the next.
Document: Situation Report 2010 July 15 Habitat for Humanity 2.2 Meg 5 page PDF shared the remarkable statistic that According to U.N. estimates, less than 5 percent of Haiti’s land is legally
registered (see section on Pathways to Permanence).



Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

How long until mess resolved? (Sep 18)
UN Security Council Sep 2010 review of Haiti52 stated hundreds of thousands of Haitians are probably going to stay in camps or makeshift shelters over at least the next 12 months, meaning all areas of Haiti remain fragile. Dimensions (1 Feb 17)
UN summarizes challenging dimensions, does not provide good assurance of resolution, when we factor in tales from other observers on the ground in Haiti. The UN had a list of challenges – I am adding here additional challenges that should be considered dimensions of what ought to be dealt with.                 hurricane season complex issues relating to land, property and rights of landlords and tenants the rule of law find a balance between provision of essential services to displaced population and encourage those living in camps to join their community or neighborhood home forced eviction of displaced persons protecting vulnerable groups sexual violence in refugee camps trafficking children, drugs and weapons disposal of rubble identification and preparation of land for resettlement presidential and legislative elections to be credible and fair, so that the new president and new government have a clear mandate to lead reconstruction implementation of reconstruction projects restore the confidence of the Haitian people in their institutions international pledges actually get delivered, and continued funding of Haiti’s needs replace the "completely dysfunctional" aid community's emergency appeal system 53 decentralization under the Government's action plan to reverse the influx of rural people in cities caused by the collapse of agriculture in the 80s.

52 53


Al Mac statement to Haiti Rewired about this vs. full story from UN in French. Relief Web Sep 21. (Source: OCHA/Relief Web)

Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

completion of constitutional reform launched by the Government of President Preval, to simplify the electoral cycle and to increase the economic participation of the diaspora NGOs spend the donated money, for Haiti, in a manner which is prudent and wise54

Brookings Analysis (Sep 19) Brookings Institute Sep 2010 analysis of burning issues for Haiti recovery and
reconstruction55 does not explain the mess, or how it can be resolved, instead addresses issues of how to help Haitians do a better job of coping with it.   
Consider supporting programs of legal assistance to homeless Haitians to help them deal with complicated questions of land ownership. Consider sponsoring legal clinics for lawyers, paralegals, and others to provide some basic guidance on how to support Haitian land claims. Work with a local university to organize a national or local conference on land and property issues in Haiti.

UN and International Community (1 Feb 17)
European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response (ECHO) held a conference on Humanitarian and the Military: different mandates and potential synergies in Disaster Relief.56    Natural disasters are occurring more frequently. Population growth combined with increasing urbanization,57 increased industrial activity and higher levels of terrorism and climate change will cause far more floods and other catastrophes than before. 2.57 billion urban dwellers living in low and middle income nations are exposed to unacceptable levels of risk58 fuelled by rapid urbanization, poor local governance, population growth, poor health services and, in many instances, the rising tide of

Many people, outside of the humanitarian aid profession, are opposed to charities managing money for a measured level of support. Instead there’s an argument that if you get a ton of money, you should give a ton of aid, then when you have used up all the donated money, just abandon the nation. I do not happen to agree with this philosophy, but it is extremely common. The UN has organized clusters to work on particular types of aid, with the cooperation of the government of Haiti. Haiti and the UN do not want certain kinds of aid, certain kinds of NGOs, who are often there anyway, not cooperating with the clusters. Some NGOs provide exactly what Haiti and UN want, but do it outside the cluster system, resulting in some victims getting excess aid (which they sell), and some not getting enough aid. I have contacted several and asked why they are operating outside the cluster system. Many reasons are given, including: added beaurocratic overhead to participate; GoH blocks many legitimate NGOs from participating in the clusters; accusations of corruption. 55 Brookings Report reviewed by Al Mac on Haiti Rewired Blog and Yahoo Group Haiti Disaster Recovery Research [HDRR]. 56 Relief Web Sep 17. (Source: OCHA/Relief Web) 57 Urban is the new rural says the Red Cross: Relief Web Sep 21 Summary; Word Disasters Report 2010 Urban Risk. (Source: OCHA/Relief Web) 58 Relief Web Sep 21. (Source: OCHA/Relief Web)


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

urban violence. Much of this urban population is also particularly exposed to climate change. In Haiti, the bulk of relief assistance was and still is provided through humanitarian and civil protection instruments (which can encompass military assets of a civilian nature), but it showed that the contribution of robust military assets in large-scale disasters can fill in critical "capacity gaps" notably as regards transport (cargo planes, helicopters) and heavy engineering– to remove debris and prepare relocation sites. The military’s core mandate of their peace-keeping operation, is security. To the degree that they engage in engineering and humanitarian support, that can detract from their security mission. Recognition of core mandates is vital. People should do what they are good at and what they have been trained for. The military is best at providing security, and this is where they are the most needed. Security is necessary for humanitarian aid to be effective. But when the military competes with humanitarian aid workers, such as distributing leaflets offering food in exchange for intelligence info, can disrupt the work of the NGOs.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Alternative Approaches (Sep 19)
NGOs, trying to help Haitian victims, have a couple of approaches to how best to deal with the complexities of Land Tenure and lack of ownership documentation. Top Down, or Bottom Up, following table summarizes these alternatives.

Advantages Top down: de précarité vers légalité   use legal documents and contracts comply with national law Supports Haitian systems that may difficult to understand in an emergency, works more quickly, may lay foundation for more security later Legal and longer term

Disadvantages Slow, complicated and may be impossible at any time but especially after an earthquake and may favour those already with access to legal services May not be formally recognised by legal entities or the state later and may not be compatible with national law

Bottom up: de précarité vers légitimité  support peaceful existing and spontaneous agreements but seek help or arbitrate where conflict arises prioritise those in the most insecure situations collect local evidence to record and legitimise tenure arrangements (including rental tenure and lease tenure) in collaboration with local authorities and key local individuals with recognised local legitimacy

 

The earthquake not only wrecked a fragile nation, it also wrecked a civil service, because Haiti’s Capital City had no backup for the people skills and records there. Many government departments were demolished, not yet back in business, many months after the quake. In March 2010, Parliament gave the government the right to seize 17,297 acres through eminent domain, which the government had not yet done as of August 2010.59 Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, who co-chairs the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, said the government doesn’t need to own the land right now. It just needs to ensure that



Dessalines’ Children.

Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

available land is identified. “What we need, is to be sure … nobody can use it” (land designated for build replacement housing) “without permission from the government,” he said. Corail was originally designated as a temporary relocation camp, to move people to, who were on camps at high risk of flooding in severe weather, but:   Soon after it started, it too was found to flood in severe weather. Space that had been set aside for better housing, now has a massive volume of displaced people living there.

Leslie Voltaire View (Sep 19)
People are using land without permission, which has been a perpetual way of life in Haiti since before the Jan 2010 quake. “The owners are seeing their land squatted on, and they don’t have the capacity to fight the squatters or the pirates who are selling the land,” said Leslie Voltaire, an urban planner involved in reconstruction planning. Voltaire, who is also a presidential candidate in Haiti’s Nov. 28 elections, said the government needs to go from “decision-making to decision-taking.” The government, he says, is “so full of priorities that they can’t choose” where to focus. For weeks, Voltaire said, the commission he heads has been awaiting a decision from both President Préval and Prime Minister Bellerive on a two-part housing strategy it submitted. The strategy involves putting transitional shelters on demolished lots and helping people return home by providing them with a financial-assistance package to repair their quake-damaged homes. In exchange for between $2,000 and $30,000 in assistance, building materials or a combination of the two, residents would have to agree to inspections of the work, and use certified workers trained in earthquake-resistant construction. The second part of the strategy involves the planning of three future communities on the outskirts of the capital, including where Corail is located. The Inter-American Development Bank has designated money to hire a firm to do an urban layout, but the process is time-consuming. Voltaire fears that by the time it is done, “you can have 200,000 squatters” living in the hills around Corail. Bellerive said the government has various rebuilding strategies, including Voltaire’s. “Housing is not only a matter of land and construction, it is mostly a question of financing and management. How are we going to finance the construction? How are we going to guarantee the services for heavy concentration of population? We cannot rebuild slums,” he said.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Major Players (0 Sep 17)

These research notes attempt to figure out what role each of the Haitian major players have in this mess of a “system”:60                 Haiti Constitution Central Government (Parliament, President, Ministries etc.) 10 Departments of the Nation (Do they have any government, like US counties?) Municipalities Land Surveyors Public Notaries Other Real Estate specialized job functions Public Utilities Courts Civil Society Investors Entrepreneurs Social Welfare institutions – public and private Universities notion of ideal public policy Elite Families Haitian people NGOs Relevant UN agencies, such as UN-Habitat, UNDP, the World Bank, Regional Development Banks.

It may be impractical to discuss proposed solutions until we can wrap our mind around what is now being done, which is unsatisfactory.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Direction Générale Impôts (Sep 14)


DGI manages state-owned properties and is responsible for property tax collection. Property registers are not computerised and manual registers are not updated, in many cases. DGI is supposed to collect property tax and deliver to the municipalities, but when this fails, many municipalities take over tax collection.

Public Notaries (Sep 14)
They are responsible for verifying the process of transfer of ownership. They are supposed to inspect the surveying that has been done, control the previous chain of title owners and attest that the individuals exchanging title and resources are the persons they claim they are. The notaries also attest that the whole process of transfer is legal. The verification can take a long time, as the notaries have to look up titles for the last 20 years in the register at DGI. In my discussion on Haiti Rewired about this, Patrice Talleyrand said that some

notaries merely copy titles under buyer's name, which means that any errors or crookedness get perpetuated.

Local Municipalities (Sep 13)
If in fact property taxes are managed at the local municipality level, then they are best qualified to identify appropriate land to build shelters that are better protection than tent cities, less of a drain on the environment, able to keep secure, sanitary etc., identify land owners, make compensation, appropriate paperwork authorizing displaced homeless to reside there. There would also need to be protection of smaller weaker municipalities from attacks organized by larger municipalities.61

Axis of Logic, and the French news media, reports that “an army” organized by Wyclef home city Croix-desBouquets, forcibly removes farmers whose land use is legal under their home city’s laws, for the purpose of clearing the land for new housing. Ganthier is the attacked city. Its municipal leaders try to stop this, but are relocated to the jail cells of the attacking city. Ganthier law had set aside land for farming. The invaders


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Before Quake Reality (Oct 09)
Ownership agreements:

documentation exists but may not be up to date. The DGI, the notary's big written register, and the landowner, are – in provinces - all likely to have some sort of official paper on the land sale, especially where their buildings were not demolished by the Jan 2010 quake. There are rental agreements, and lease agreements. Rental agreements are typically six months to one year. Lease agreements are typically 10-20 years, where property reverts to land owner, if no renewal. Most of those made homeless, by the Jan 2010 quake, did not own the houses they were in but were paying rent.62 In Port-au-Prince, many families rented from private landowners, who were not officially registered as owners. Lack of documentation: the majority of renters and leasers in urban and provincial areas appear to have no formal documentation or documentation that is signed off at a level of authority that has questionable legal status seen from the perspective of national law. Some areas families occupied land for free because it was family land. A nominal fee may be paid to government to lease land for 10 years and land then moves from government ownership to the lease. A World Bank report, on the challenges, wrote: QUOTE 

Land title arrangements were complex and ambiguous.

Land administration, land use planning, zoning and building codes, were all in need of strengthening before the earthquake, due to several factors. Reference systems and records were often unclear, incomplete, or not properly updated. Often there was no reliable way of obtaining enforceable documented guarantees of land title. Overlapping, invalid, or improperly documented titles were a frequent source of conflict, making land disputes common, and there was no fast and reliable formal process in existence for settling such disputes.

Titling Disputes. The existing land titling system, managed by the Direction

Generale des Impots (DGI), is not computerized, and in need of modernization. Title to a property is established by the land purchase agreement and survey of the referred property. Most property transactions are made by private act. Title is often unclear. The format sector purchases land and property through Notaries Public, who are commissioned by the President of the Republic. To purchase a property, it
choose to disregard Ganthier law, declare the farm land as unused, and thus available for anyone, and they have a mightier army. 62 Pamela Cox, World Bank 's vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean, stated this Sep 14 at a conference on the Americas in Miami.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

is necessary to have a recent survey establishing its peaceful possession by the seller. The buyer then requests that the seller deposit with the Notary the survey and bill of sale. The buyer deposits the purchase price with the Notary, and both parties sign the bill of sale. The seller receives the selling price after deduction of the added value tax. 

Structures. In order to legally build, one must first obtain authorization from the

local authorities, in exchange for a fee. There are no town planning boards or other land-use planning entities. 

Land Tenure and Poverty. Titling procedures tend to be burdensome and

costly, making formal title largely inaccessible to the poor. Banks cannot use contested properties as guarantees, which exacerbates poverty. In terms of housing, interest rates on home loans are high, and public housing is unavailable. There is little effective support for poor people defending their rights in court. Specific rural and urban poverty rights are addressed in those sections. 

Institutions. There are good institutions, but spaces for potential strengthening

as well. The cadastre institution ONACA has been doing admirable work, but depends mainly on external funding. They have a good reputation for helping rural areas – and in particular, irrigation districts – to determine the location of plots to promote natural resource management and land security. The agrarian reform institute, INARA, is inefficient and has a mixed reputation. It would need an overhaul in order to adapt it to the needs of current situation. 

Informality. In light of the legal insecurity of land tenure, possession is vitally

important. People with a claim to land quickly build walls, and at least part of a dwelling, as a bulwark against competing claims. Large landowners may quickly build rental housing in residential areas, or grant peasants tenure rights for agricultural lands. The rental housing and tenure rights then give the peasants possession and thus, an incentive to defend the landlord’s tenure. Possession is especially important for the poor, and in some cases, the only tool they have to defend their rights.

Urban vs. Rural land tenure (0 Oct 09)
Continuing with the World Bank report, there are notable differences between land tenure practices in urban and rural areas. 

Urban Areas. Port-au-Prince and other urban areas have relatively reliable land

survey and cadastre systems (Plans d’Arpentage) to identify individual land owners. While land and property titles are not always held, changes in title are generally registered in the Plans d’Arpentage. However, extensive informal settlement in recent decades complicates the situation. Where formal land title systems are inaccessible


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

or inapplicable, informal systems arise, sometimes governed by violence. The area of Cite Soleil, for example, originally belonged to a single family, and is now a major slum, with an essentially parallel informal land tenure system. Overcrowding in urban areas – and particularly PaP – will also have to be addressed. 

Rural Areas. In the countryside, the process of Arpentage.has increasingly focused

on titling and the settling of disputes. While property is still often registered (see chart in the full World Bank report), conflicting claims may nevertheless be found (see table in the full report). In national parks and elsewhere, significant amounts of government-owned land is being used by farmers with no permit or rent agreement, leading to a lack of incentives to invest in the land. The high legal costs of transferring title and subdividing land have led to the practice of subdividing inherited plots without titling them, resulting in disputes among family members. These conflicts must then be resolved by a local “Juge de Paix.” 

Gender. Haitian land law does not discriminate against women. In practice

however, land held informally is rarely allocated or equally administered for women and men. Customary and other forms of “informal” tenure may allow women access to land, although their rights are not equal to those of men. As most property is purchased, women tend to have less access to land than men. If women are not recognized heads of households or not included in existing ownership deeds, it may be difficult for them to reclaim their homes.

After Quake Reality (1 Feb 17)
Urban owner-occupiers: CARE found in Carrefour and Leogane that owners were:     more likely to be on their original plots able to reclaim materials (more landlords than tenants were in CGI shelters (en tôle)) more landlords than tenants seem to be hosting some tenants paid 1 year of rent in advance on 1 January 2010, now investment lost

when papers are lost in the earthquake and can't be found in the official registers, a surveyor can legally recreate the land paper using the neighbor's papers, if such exist.
Provincial owner-occupiers:

Quake fears: A green house only means it is safe right now from consequences of last quake. The people are fearful of more quakes. Some buildings, that allegedly were declared safe to return to, collapsed in later after-shock quakes. Informal arrangements common says this Relief Web article (Source: OCHA/Relief Web) Many aid agencies working in the some 1,400 makeshift camps sprawled in and around the capital have been getting by on ad-hoc, informal agreements with landowners and local authorities giving them temporary rights to use land, which then have to be renegotiated every three to six months.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

So far, this has largely relied on good will. But how long that lasts no-one knows. Pamela Cox63 said it was a "sad" comment on Haiti's poverty that some occupants of the internationally supported camps might now be living in better conditions than they had been previously.
Quake realities ignored by landlords: According to a CNN article QUOTE

“Landlords are refusing to accept people who cannot pay the back rent for the four months they have been gone. Many of the displaced can no longer even afford the monthly amount they were paying before. Why would you leave an encampment that offers you a toilet, a shower, emergency food rations and, yes, even an outdoor movie screen when you have no place to go and no money in your pockets?” UNQUOTE
Uncertainty over lease: land

tenants may have lost their house (main asset) and may want to / have to relocate while they wait
Multiple occupancy buildings:

  

in some cases the top floor is damaged but the bottom floor is intact so tenants are displaced where site is full of rubble the owner or leaser on the ground floor has first access to space “vertical” living spaces are lost so more people must be accommodated on less space, unless the building is totally replaced.

Lack of documentation:

   

in some cases the signatory head of household was killed in the earthquake in some cases documents have been lost in the earthquake rural context: community recognition of informal ownership, people know each other, resolution of disputes possible at community level and there is more latitude urban context: no record or clear picture of land tenure, less easy to resolve through community mechanisms and more complexity with a need to work with an authoritative person or institution

Community acceptance, legitimacy or legality:



Pamela Cox, World Bank 's vice president for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Soon after the 2010 Jan 12 quake, the Haiti government recognized and stated a need for it to use eminent domain to seize sufficient property for the building of intermediate camps for Haitians displaced by the earthquake. However, the land owners would need to be identified, and paid money that the Gov of Haiti did not have. A problem here was that there were ways to raise funds through the UN, and allied nations international community, for this and other purposes that the GoH did not seem to know how to do, while the potential donors did not seem aware of the urgency of resolving this. So months have gone by, with no resolution.

Documentation is a Western Concept (0 Sep 23)

When a government is weak, fragile, unable to extend its power over the whole nation, and all activities of the nation, then local management usurps national authority, more might makes right, than any standards of justice or rule of law. “It is unclear who owns any property. Wealthy Haitians claim much of the country. The validity of their claims will be judged by their peers. However, throughout Haiti's history, people have squatted on unoccupied lands. In time, their use of the land justifies their claim to ownership.”64

No Documentation = No Ownership (0 July 11)

As the weather got worse summer 2010, this and other issues came up again and again in different discussion threads, in which some people had interesting additions to what we can consider for solutions. Linked-In has deleted 99% of what we posted over a period of months to HEDR, so many initial enthusiasts have departed, but there’s new enthusiasts still arriving there. Otto asked: So.......what happened to Uncle Sams and Bills promises?? Is the story about Haiti to be repeated, again and again...............I just wonder........ Al posted: The story will probably be repeated. Uncle Sam and other actors are pretty much saying that there are no problems with THEIR efforts, that it is too bad, but this is as good as it gets. Occasionally there is some finger pointing at other actors. They may just be marking time until they can send in Halliburton and other US beltway bandits to profit off of reconstruction that really should be money into Haiti economy for Haitians to do, assuming the millions in tent cities survive the coming hurricanes. Otto observed up:
Seeing Value on Haiti Rewired.



Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Access to land seems to be a key issue to reallocate people from Port au Prince. Could it be a problem for the IMF to stop their 60 mill US$ in loans to the Government of Haiti, until they have fulfilled their task to bring forward the land needed? In Norway we have different kinds of tools like Land Consolidation and Expropriation. Land Consolidation is used to reallocate land based on voluntary basis. Expropriation is used by the Government to buy land needed for the development of the society or if you like:. A politically motivated and forceful confiscation and redistribution of private property outside the common law. New laws needed on Haiti urgently! I guess Bill does not know too much about these possibilities since hardly nothing has happened the past months. Al tried to clarify: Access to Haiti land is one of the biggest issues, has been for months. Everyone knows it. The issue has been extensively studied. We general public have not been told why it is not getting solved. Info that leaks into news media is very superficial, leading to various people suggestions that will only make situation worse. In one of the 6 month reports (Habitat for Humanity) we learned: According to U.N. estimates, less than 5 percent of Haiti’s land is legally registered. To move from transitional shelters to building permanent homes, establishing secure tenure for partner families is essential. Without secure tenure, families could be evicted from their new homes and have no legal recourse. I have downloaded that report (and approx 300 others) & can forward as e-mail attachment to anyone interested (or upload to some mutually convenient site). Ownership of real estate in Haiti is like Auto ownership in USA. There is like a pink slip ownership document, spelling out the geography, with place for buyer seller identification. This is supposed to be registered with Gov of Haiti, but many Haitians do not do so, because of perceived bureaucratic and corruption hassles. When it is registered, it is all manual hand written, in offices many of which destroyed in the quake. There’s alleged fraudulent documents. So for most owners, there is not good proof of ownership. Some ownership transfers or lease access rights are like mortgage credit deals, where if financial contracts do not get paid off in time, or are renewed after so many years, ownership reverts to a previous owner. The paperwork documenting this status could be independent of what is on the pink slip.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Before anything is placed on someone land or property, the true owner needs to be identified, and appropriate permission granted in writing, in a form which will work when many officials are illiterate, and there are two official languages. Prior to the Jan 12 quake, it was considered normal for this process to take a minimum of 6 months, and maybe years. Many Haiti sites are blocked by debris from the Jan 12 quake. The volume is astronomical compared to most prior disasters. (Ask me for copy of “Debris fact sheet.”) It could take years to clear via heavy duty construction machinery, except that most is being removed by hand, and there is an Alice in Wonderland reality involved. People who are trying to do any kind of development work, just move it out of the way, to piles near their property, where it is now in someone else's way, for them to move later, maybe back to where it was earlier. Sometimes it ends up blocking a highway, so an NGO clears it back onto side of road so their water truck can get through, then it gets moved out of the way again and again by the different people whose needs it is now blocking. The whole process is like suburban winter, where people shovel snow to clear their driveway, then city plow comes along and refills the blockage. Except the quake debris has been going in circles now for 6 months. Journalists could ask the powers that be, what is their debris removal strategy? Many Haiti roads are too narrow for heavy duty construction equipment to get to where needed to clear debris. Military air and sea power can deliver equipment to where needed. Hurricane Season’s heavier wind and rain could destroy temporary emergency shelters, and maybe even some of the transitional shelters. UN assessment teams have been visiting camps to see what population is at risk of flooding and other trouble when the hurricanes arrive, then some NGOs doing mitigation where practical. However over 1/2 of the Haitians in the assessed camps need to be relocated to somewhere safer. Almost 2 million Haitians are in those camps. Hurricane prediction is not rocket science. Haiti will be getting another one. The handwriting is on the wall. If this problem is not rapidly fixed, Haiti is facing a disaster much worse than the Jan 12 quake. Regarding Otto's suggestion that money be withheld from Gov of Haiti as a way to get this solved: Early in the quake aftermath, the Haitian government told the international community:


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

* Under Haitian Constitution, Gov of Haiti has the authority to condemn land for the purpose of civic needs, such as providing replacement housing for the people displaced by the earthquake, provided the property owners are financially compensated for the land that is seized. * We fully intend to do so, however two problems: 1. We do not have the money to do the compensation. 2. Haitian records on who owns what property have been severely disrupted by the earthquake ... it might not be possible to figure out who owns what property. Mainstream journalism has failed to follow up on this, like asking Gov of Haiti if they have received any help whatsoever from the international community in solving these two problems, and where they have asked for help, then going to ask leaders at UN and major donors how come Haiti not yet got the needed help. The international community and NGOs basically said "Good, do it" without addressing how to solve the stated problems. For month after month, we see in the UN reports that there is this unsolved land problem, without good explanation of the problem, and no effort devoted to getting it fixed. Rainy season started, and it not fixed. Hurricane season started, and it not fixed. It is becoming more and more of a crisis, and all the official voices are either wringing hands about it, or engaging in wasteful finger pointing and PR exercises, or talking like there is infinite time to solve it, and it is not a high priority. Journalists should ask WHEN they plan to start fixing this problem. Money is already being withheld from Gov of Haiti and from other rebuilding efforts. $ Billions have been pledged, $ Millions have been delivered. Many recovery efforts are stalled for lack of funds. Solving the land ownership situation is one of them. Solving the rubble debris challenge is another. Otto continued: I very much agree in what you are saying and there are a lot of problems to be solved, but if there is no more documentation or papers available to proof your ownership there is "no ownership". Since only 5% of the land is legally registered, there should be 95 % ready to be allocated, legally speaking. Land can also be compensated by another piece of land elsewhere, there is no need of cash transfer in cases of Land Consolidation. These are issues of be "willing" to DO "something" and not only a matter of money.


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

Compensation can be given at a later stage according to proven documentation. If you are at "Ground Zero" literally speaking, you have to start afresh whether you like it or not, just as simple as that. See this as a new start for Haiti also when it comes to tenure of plots and properties. If there is no documentation, there is no documentation and everything has to start from "the beginning", no doubt about that. This is a "unique" chance to build up a modern registry for the future of the whole Haitian community. Land- and water disputes have caused a lot of problems and ending up in even wars in many countries.

Violent Evictions by Non-Owner Gangs (1 Mar 08)
   Less than 5% of Haiti’s land is legally registered as to who owns it. 65 60% of tent camps are located on private land.66 Tens of thousands of Haitians, displaced by the quake, have been violently evicted from the camps, often in middle of night, with no advance warning.67

This is another topic where it has become controversial how much of this is going on, because many evictions do not make it onto the radar screens of Haitian Government, UN clusters, NGOs, news media, etc. and some camps are known by more than one name, so the same incident could get double counted. When the victims are kicked out, they find some other place to settle, and it could be a place that is vacant only because there just was a mass eviction there, and they will be next. Without a system of identifying who has what rights to what land, it is a war zone where might makes right.68 An article discussed on Haiti Rewired Architecture Group,69 about the Schack Institute for Real Estate Development at NY University. They have started a course in "post-catastrophe reconstruction": “We don’t want to build a shelter that will cost $5,000 for a family that doesn’t own the land,” Ms. Blake said. “We learned the hard way that after the shelter is built, someone else will say the land is theirs and throw the family off, and so the donor money will be spent on some other family and the family in need remains homeless.”
Situation Report 2010 July 15 Habitat for Humanity USAID Earthquake Fact Sheet #58, Fiscal Year (FY) 2010, page 2 67 We have been tracking instances of this in Architecture for Haiti Group: Forced
65 66

Quake Survivors from Camps with no advance notice, (also Perspective) 68 69

Evictions of Rape Epidemic, Accountability,


Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre

About 40 percent of the world’s population is subject to forcible eviction from their homes because of a lack of documentation proving ownership, Ms. Blake said. In Haiti, that number is closer to 70 percent." (Blake/ Habitat for Humanity) Some faulty language used here. These folks are not being evicted from their homes, but from the land their homes sit on. If their homes could move with them, they could, like the Bedouins, remain sheltered wherever they can settle, for whatever period of time. The task of government is to extend the tenure of settlement as long as possible. Temporary Domain would work, especially where land ownership is in question, but not definitely in one person's deed. "Someone-will-say" only works if that someone is in cahoots with someone in power.

Build back Better (0 Sep 14)
After being deluged with housing requests, and worldwide engineers, architects, construction companies etc. offering to help in Haiti, Bellerive and Clinton endorsed the idea of an international housing expo of anti-seismic houses for Haiti.70 Many potential candidates refused to compete because they were expected to pay 100% costs, have their work end up being owned by the government, with nothing to show for their investments. Some 380 proposals were received. A jury will soon choose the best five models, which will be a living showcase in a planned community on government-owned land in Port-auPrince. Quake victims will live in them, and the idea is to replicate the housing designs throughout Haiti.



Dessalines’ Children.

Haiti Land Tenure and Ownership Documentation Challenges by Alister Wm Macintyre