Director of Habitat for Humanity in Haiti Visits Iona College, Haitian Church to Gain Support for Haitian Rebuilding Effort

Written By: Robert Cox

Claude Jeudy, Director of Habitat for Humanity in the Republic of Haiti addressed students and faculty at Iona College in the afternoon. Jeudy explained how Habitat for Humanity is working to build “Core Houses”. The houses are intended as a basic shell, which Habitat works with families to build. Later, as financial stability returns to the region, the family can add to the unit as needed.

The houses are designed to better withstand future earthquakes. All of the 2,000 Habitat Core Houses, intentionally built away from Port-au-Prince and the known fault-line, were still standing after the earthquake. The houses comply with international humanitarian standards, providing adequate living space and sanitation facilities for the average Haitian family of five.

The cost of building these core houses is estimated to be about US$4,000 to US$6,000 per unit, depending on local conditions and design. Habitat is committed to building as many as their funding will allow.

From the Habitat for Humanity web site:

Replacing destroyed homes

As soon as conditions on the ground realistically allow, Habitat will begin replacing destroyed homes using a core house model.

Permanent structures with room to grow

Core houses are small, but well-constructed and durable, permanent structures that provide adequate living space and sanitation facilities for the average Haitian family of five.

The house, which involves flooring and a roof with a single room, a door and windows, provides provision for water and sanitation and complies with international humanitarian standards.

Core houses are designed with the expectation that the homeowner partner will add on to the structure―expanding its square footage―when circumstances permit.

Earthquake-resistant design

Core houses are designed with earthquake-resistant features that work as a whole system to resist damage in the event of another earthquake. These structural features include:

Walls with embedded steel bars.

All cells surrounding doors and windows will contain embedded steel bars. Additionally, each wall will have a horizontal steel bar for every two layers of blocks. The steel bars will absorb the shear stress of an earthquake.
A portion of the walls will be constructed with concrete blocks. Other materials used may include pre-fabricated micro concrete panels, interlocking blocks and compressed earth block.

Reinforced concrete footings, columns and a bond (ring) beam which tie the concrete block walls together.

The bond beam absorbs and resists the horizontal forces of an earthquake―transmitting these forces to the columns, footings and eventually to the ground. Additionally, the columns are designed to resist and absorb bending movements.

Properly supported, light roof structure.

Our core house design uses a light roof structure and roof cover, in addition to a proper structural system.
Help Habitat build core houses for Haitian families

Thousands of core houses will be needed, and Habitat is committed to building as many as funding allows. Estimated post-earthquake cost is about US$4,000 to US$6,000 per unit, depending on local conditions and design.

More Photos from Claude Jeudy’s visit to New Rochelle.

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Jim Killorin, Director of Habitat for Humanity Westchester helped raise $75,000 for Haitian relief.

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Habitat for Humanity Westchester’s Iona College Coordinator recruited students to the cause.

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Carl Procario-Foley, Director of Iona College’s Center for Campus Ministries welcomed Claude Jeudy and presented him with a donation.

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Pastor Jeudy addressed the congregation at the French Speaking Baptist Church in New Rochelle.

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Church members asked tough, business-oriented questions about the Habitat for Humanity projects in Haiti.

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Yvon Ceneus moderated questions from the church members.

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Deacon Jean Luzincourt closed out the gathering with song and prayer.

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NOTE: It’s late and I wanted to get the photos up right away. I will fill in details tomorrow.