Deutsche Bank is playing an important role in addressing one of the most daunting challenges Haiti faces since the devastating January 2010 earthquake: developing permanent housing for 1.3 million displaced residents.
Recognizing that the impoverished nation’s post-quake housing needs are vast and complex, Deutsche Bank is supporting the development of a model community in the Oranger area of Port-au-Prince for 125 families and new mortgage instruments to enable ownership opportunities—the first steps in finding an affordable, long-term solution to the country’s housing crisis. The Bank is aiding the development of the model—or “exemplar”—community with a grant of $350,000. Digicel, Haiti’s largest cell phone provider, is contributing another $350,000.
Deutsche Bank’s support is also coming in the form of recommendations from four in-house loan experts from the Bank’s residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) group who have volunteered their time to brainstorm new mortgage strategies. To address title problems, the volunteers recommended a community land trust, which simplifies the title process by allowing homeowners to own land collectively. Team members also recommended concepts like vouchers, rent-to-own and down payment assistance that they felt could be customized to the local banking system.
“If we’re successful…, similar communities may be created throughout the country,” said volunteer George Pakenham, a senior loan officer in RMBS.
The volunteer team from Deutsche Bank’s RMBS group includes from L to R: Ariel Nunez, Ernie Riley, George Pakenham and Beatriz DeOleo.