Nearly One Quarter of Those Still Homeless in Haiti Threatened with Eviction

News and Press Release
Originally published

The threat of imminent eviction looms over some 166,000 displaced persons living in camps in Haiti, according to the findings of a comprehensive report published by the IOM.

According to the report, nearly one in four of Haiti's 680,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) have been told by landowners they must now leave the land they occupy since the 12 January 2010 earthquake or face eviction.

"The rapid pace of evictions is an important driver in the decline of camp numbers, which IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix records as falling from 1.5 million people last year to 680,000 currently," says IOM's Haiti Chief of Mission Luca Dall'Oglio. "It is apparent that many people are leaving the camps under duress, and that evictions are playing an increasingly important role in the population trends in camps."

According to the report, the rising rate of evictions across earthquake-affected areas is outpacing the capacity of the Haitian government and the humanitarian community to deliver housing solutions.

It finds that new threats of eviction have been identified in 68 camps since January 2011, compared with a total of 179 cases reported between June and December in 2010.

Since June 2010, when evictions started in earnest, a total of 247 sites in ten communes have come under threat, affecting some 234,000 individuals thus far.

According to the report, 67% of the displaced population currently threatened with eviction lives on private land and 8% on public land. Land ownership for the remaining 25% of the displaced population remains unclear.

The commune most affected by evictions is Delmas in Port-au-Prince where there have been verified threats of eviction in 69 sites, affecting close to 135,000. Of those, some 27,000 have already been forced to leave 10 settlements. The communes of Petionville, Carrefour and Cité Soleil are also affected by threats of evictions or actual evictions.

"This report confirms the need to put in place activities focusing on return and housing solutions for displaced families, focusing on the most vulnerable who have been evicted or face imminent eviction," says Dall'Oglio.

IOM is currently working with the Haitian government and humanitarian partners to provide shelter assistance to some 450 displaced families facing eviction from the capital's Silvio Cator football stadium. Some 50 families have already been given transitional shelters on a safe site. However, 400 families remain at grave risk of being left homeless unless action is taken quickly to secure more land for shelter.

As part of its Camp Coordination, Camp Management (CCCM) leadership role, IOM has compiled the eviction information using its camp management operations teams. These teams have been supporting the IDP population in the mediation processes with the landowners and helping residents to negotiate time extensions in most cases. The aim is to provide sufficient time to allow for a return strategy to provide the IDPs with durable and sustainable solutions.

For more information please contact Leonard Doyle at IOM Haiti, Tel: + 509 3702 5066; Email: ldoyle@iom.int Copyright © IOM. All rights reserved.