Climate Change Stirs Integrated Housing Revolution In Dominica

Photo: thecaribbeannewsnow

Forces of nature run amok annually, leaving immeasurable impacts. These include the loss of life and livelihoods, disruption of services, and leaving thousands homeless.

In a report by Reuters in 2017, about 14 million people are being made homeless on average each year due to sudden disasters such as floods and storms. According to the study, South and Southeast Asia countries have the highest displacement and housing loss.

But disasters also have a knack for finding the vulnerable in the Latin Americas and Caribbean.

Even if the tiny island of Dominica is no stranger to natural disasters, still, the nation was left dumbfounded following the onslaughts of Tropical Storm Erika and Hurricane Maria.

OCHA Services and UNDP reported that Tropical Storm Erika resulted in damage and loss equivalent to approximately 90% of Dominica’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Meanwhile, the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment concluded that Hurricane Maria resulted in total damages of EC$2.51 billion (US$931 million) and losses of EC$1.03 billion (US$382 million), which amounts to 226% of 2016’s GDP.

Dominicans were left with little to no means to rebuild and recover. Hence, the government stepped in and devised a mechanism independent of international community aid that could plunge the country into significant debt.

The need to rebuild extensively and the ambition to fully adapt to climate change pushed the government to formulate new policies in urban planning and develop integrated housing communities across the nation; thus, the Housing Revolution Programme (Integrated Housing Development) was born.

Funded by the country’s Citizenship by Investment (CBI) Programme and developed through Public-Private Partnership, the government-led initiative aims to provide new, modern, integrated housing to low- and middle-income families.

And it took no more than two years to reap what was sowed. Resettlement for displaced families started in December 2018 at the Bellevue Chopin Housing Development. Three hundred fifty (350) residential units, a 28-unit commercial complex, a community centre, a health centre, and a recreational field completed the first integrated community on the island.

Source: thecaribbeannewsnow