We're fed up of living in tents! Nou Bouke Viv Anba Tant
The sit-in that blocked the road in front of the Ministry of Social Affairs on World Habitat Day was peaceful but noisy. “We are people not animals!” “Get us out of these pigeon cages!” “Public housing authority now!” chanted the mostly female crowd. All members of the Housing Rights Coalition, drawn from more than 30 IDP camps that are still home for the estimated 595,000 people still living in the mud of another Haitian rainy season, they insisted on being heard. “We’re fed up of living in tents!” proclaimed their banner.
Complaining that the continued construction of temporary housing was a waste of time, that a national plan for permanent housing should be developed by government not NGOs or donors, the crowd blocked entry through the Ministry’s metal gate until a letter outlining their demands had been delivered. “What’s happening now is totally unacceptable,” said economist Camille Chalmers. “We need a national social housing plan under the Ministry of Social Affairs,” insisted another leader, Antonal Mortimé.
The demands in the letter reiterated those raised in a meeting with the Haitian Senate’s Sub-Committee for Social Affairs on September 6. They include: