Housing is a major issue for Haitians. Most of the homes and other buildings were destroyed. But an east Mississippi company says it can help.
Most Haitians are now living in tents, and as hurricane season approaches, government agencies are scrambling to begin rebuilding durable homes.
A company out of Union, Miss., is sending a sales representative in hopes of becoming a major part of reconstructing Haiti by providing low-cost, durable homes for Haitian victims.
"With the destruction there with the earthquake, there is going to be a tremendous need for low-cost, durable, safe housing that will withstand the next hurricane or earthquake that comes along," said DuraSip founder and CEO Max Ware. "And these houses are designed to do that. Designed to be strong, low cost, and put up rapidly."
Sales and marketing director, John Pardue, is traveling to the Dominican Republic Thursday in hopes of making a joint venture with relief agencies that will allow construction to begin within 90 days.
"We are exploring opportunities to place ourselves to be ready to go when the housing contracts are given," Pardue said. "Right at the moment, they're just doing demolition and building tent cities and that type of thing. Housing contracts have not been let out yet."
Once funding is secure and the plan is executed, DuraSip will need to hire as many as 100 local residents, benefiting Mississippi as well as Haiti.
"We will benefit here by providing good jobs and being able to export American products from here, and the good will that comes from that, that as American people we care about our neighbors next door," said Pardue.
The prototype home for Haitian families would cost at the most $3,000.00 to construct, according to DuraSip. At least a million people are homeless in Haiti. DuraSip's plan is to build tens of thousands of homes.
According to the company, DuraSip housing can be built in one 8-hour day by a 2-person team. The structures are 8 feet high, 16 feet wide and 20 feet long, and weigh less than a thousand pounds.